Bill to end personal vaccine exemptions advances

House Bill 1638 moves ahead
Bill to end personal vaccine exemptions advances

A bill that would end the “personal or philosophical” exemption that Washington state parents use to opt their school-age children out of the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine has advanced in Olympia.

The House Health Care and Wellness Committee approved House Bill 1638 on a 10-5 vote today. It could come up for a vote before the full House in the coming weeks.

The vote comes as Washington deals with a measles outbreak that has sickened at least 54 people in the state and led Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency.

Health officials have reported at least 54 known cases in Washington state and four in Oregon. Most of the Washington cases are concentrated in Clark County, just north of Portland, Oregon. The measure is sponsored by a lawmaker from that region, Republican Rep. Paul Harris of Vancouver.

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