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UPDATE: Gov. supports bill to eliminate personal conviction waiver to avoid vaccinations

UPDATE: (WKOW) — Governor Tony Evers said Tuesday he supports a Democratic bill that eliminates the personal conviction waiver from Wisconsin’s vaccination requirement.

Evers called the proposal “critical” during an event at the Milwaukee Press Club.

“It’s not stripping all those exemptions away,” he said. “We just have to understand that there are some requirements that the state must have in order to keep everybody safe.”
The measure would require all parents and guardians enrolling their children in school or daycare to fully vaccinate their children except when doing so would violate religious beliefs or health.

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MADISON (WKOW) — A bill introduced in the Wisconsin State Assembly would eliminate the personal conviction waiver from Wisconsin’s vaccination requirement.

In essence, the measure would require all parents and guardians enrolling their children in school or daycare to fully vaccinate their children except when doing so would violate religious beliefs or health.

Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) said in a press release he reintroduced the measure Tuesday.

The bill comes in the wake of reports that measles continues to spread in the United States, with 704 cases reported so far this year in 22 states.

U.S. health officials on Monday said the number of cases already eclipsed the total for any full year since 1994, when 963 cases were reported.

The bill, according to Hintz, would “eliminate the personal conviction waiver from our state’s vaccination requirement.”

“This legislation is a proactive measure, as hundreds of measles cases continue to be reported in the U.S. in early 2019,” Hintz said. “It’s simple – states with better requirements for vaccinations have higher vaccination rates and fewer occurrences of outbreaks.”

The only remaining waivers for vaccination would be reasons of health or religion. State statutes do not define what circumstances would adequately meet the other waivers, and Hintz said his bill “only addresses the personal conviction waiver.”

Hintz said his bill was supported by a number of health-focused organizations including Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin,  Southern Wisconsin Immunization Coalition and Wisconsin Nurses Association among others.

“Vaccinations are a public health issue and not just parental right. The decision to forgo vaccination poses a threat to others,” Hintz said. “Especially babies too young to be vaccinated or those who can’t be vaccinated for health reasons.”

JT Cestkowski

Social Media Content Producer/Desk Editor

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