Community Issues

PA Lawmaker Wants to Eliminate Vaccination Exemption

Says unvaccinated school children put their own and others' health at risk


An embattled lawmaker from eastern Pennsylvania plans to introduce legislation to eliminate the state's religious and philosophical exemptions for childhood vaccinations.

State Senator Daylin Leach , D-Montgomery County, says he's reacting to data that he says, shows an increase in the rate of parents refusing to get their children vaccinated, citing a moral or religious exemption.

"This trend threatens the health and safety of the people of our Commonwealth who cannot get vaccinated due to pre-existing medical conditions," said Leach in co-sponsorship memo to his colleagues. "While our statewide vaccination rate is acceptable, there are specific communities across the state that have dangerously low vaccination rates," said Leach. Allegheny County is not one of them.

"This trend threatens the health and safety of the people of our Commonwealth." PA Senator Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery County

There have been outbreaks of measles in Washington state and New York, where one county has banned unvaccinated minors from public places (click here for our story). There's also a mumps outbreak at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Measles is considered one of the most contagious viruses, spread through coughing and sneezing, The virus can live in the air for up to two hours!

Leach says his legislation is aimed at protecting Pennsylvania school children. "Pennsylvania law requires that children receive certain vaccinations before they may attend school. My bill would eliminate our state's religious and philosophical vaccination exemptions."

Leach has been under fire amid allegations he sexually assaulted a women in the 1990's. He hasn't been charged, but the governor and even other Democrats have called on him to resign .

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