Arizona lawmakers are looking at expanding exemptions from children’s vaccine requirements as public-health officials in the Pacific Northwest try to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened dozens of people who were not inoculated.
Republicans on a state House committee have voted to create a religious exemption for schoolchildren, adding to the personal-beliefs exemption Arizona already has. The measure also would get rid of a requirement for parents who decline to vaccinate to sign a form listing the risks.
It was one of three measures lawmakers approved in party-line votes after hearing hours of testimony from doctors supporting vaccinations and others who disagree with the scientific consensus that they’re safe.
The Arizona legislation goes against recent trends in state vaccine legislation, which has generally cracked down on exemptions rather than expand them.
A version of this article appeared in the March 06, 2019 edition of Education Week as Arizona Legislators Mull Expanding Exemptions From Vaccinations