Mothers voice opinions on religious exemptions for vaccines - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mothers voice opinions on religious exemptions for vaccines

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

Mothers on both sides want their voices heard by lawmakers over a bill aimed at religious exemptions for vaccinations.

Representative Andy Gipson says he was urged by families forced to leave the state to introduce the Vaccine Religious Exemption Bill.

Give Me The Shot Moms are calling on the state legislature to keep current vaccination laws which require children who attend schools, Headstart and daycare centers to get immunizations.

House Bill 1505 would allow parents to opt out of immunizations for religious reasons.

Opponents fear the effects it would have on the public.

"If parents choose to religiously avoid vaccinating their children and children are allowed to attend public school, we could have terrible outbreaks in the entire state which is something that we are trying to prevent," said Heather Rifkin with Give Me The Shot Moms. "We do not want outbreaks. We want to keep our community immunity strong in Mississippi."

Rep. Andy Gipson introduced the bill at the urging of groups like Mississippi Parents for Vaccine Rights.

They say 48 states currently have the religious exemption which gives parents choice.

"We have an entire population of adults who are not fully vaccinated," said Lindsey Magee with MS Parents for Vaccine Rights. "Vaccines we know wane over time and so it's not fair for us to put that burden on our tiny babies, the burden of 21 doses by six months."

The Mississippi Immunization Task Force is behind Give Me The Shot Moms and supports immunization against preventable childhood diseases.

Mississippi Parents for Vaccine Rights maintain that vaccine laws in the state violate the religious freedom of parents to make health care decisions for their children.

They also object to the products used to make vaccines.

 A briefing on the Vaccination Religious Exemption bill will be held Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Room 113 at the Capitol.

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