Mississippi vaccination exemptions could expand - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi vaccination exemptions could expand

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi has the country's highest vaccination rate for school-age children. But a proposed bill would open the door to more choices for parents. 

Homeschooling is the only way you can get out of vaccinating your child in Mississippi, unless you get a medical exemption.

"I can't find a doctor in Mississippi who's willing to write an exemption," noted parent Lindey Magee.

The state health department has to give the final OK. House Bill 938 would allow any doctor to sign off on an exemption. That's what the Mississippi Parents for Vaccine Rights group wants.

"This big push to back parents into a corner and make sure they have no rights and options is a big government overreach," added the group's co-director Marry Jo Perry. "And we're not going to sit down and be quiet and put up with it."

Amanda Vizier's daughter Chloe has juvenile arthritis. Her immune system is already compromised. 

"These preventable diseases that vaccines provide can actually be fatal for her," said Vizier.

That's why Vizier says the "choice" those parents are lobbying for could impact more than just their children.

"It's just kind of what's best for the common good," added Vizier. "Sometimes you have to choose the things that are going to help the community."

Dr. Sandor Feldman is considered Mississippi's leading infectious disease pediatric expert. He's concerned about the bill.

"This bill can account for deaths in infants," Feldman said. "We're not going to have hundreds of infants dying. But for me, one death is enough if it's preventable."

House Bill 938 passed the House Wednesday and will now be taken up for consideration in the Senate.

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