SPOKANE, Wash. - Washington state's newly passed vaccine exemption law takes effect Sunday.
Beginning then, parents will no longer be able to exempt their children from the Measles Mumps and Rubella vaccine because of personal or philosophical beliefs. Medical and religious exemptions will still be allowed.
This follows one of the largest measles outbreaks the state has had in recent years, with 84 cases so far in 2019, two of those cases being diagnosed within the week.
The law will require all children going to licensed day care or school to show documentation of vaccination before or on the first day of school.
The MMR vaccine requires two separate shots that must be received several weeks apart.
If you only have the first shot by the first day of school, the Washington State Department of Health says your child will be placed on conditional status for 30 days in which case they must get the second shot. If they don’t, they won’t be allowed to attend school.
Additional information can be found by clicking here and going to the Washington State Department of Health website.
The head of the Spokane Regional Health District Dr. Bob Lutz, says understanding that health policy makers must look at the health of the population, as opposed to individual rights when making decisions.
Lutz noted that measles is one of the most contagious diseases out there, though it is completely preventable.
Lutz said part of putting this law in place will involved education, especially considering anti-vaccination sentiment. Though, he says that comes on a continuum.
"It's difficult to try and argue the science with the individuals on the end of the continuum," Lutz said. "However, for those that are only vaccine hesitant, it's interesting to note that vaccine rates increase significantly after outbreaks of measles, in individuals and the population."
Catch up on the day's news and look ahead to tomorrow by signing up for the Daily Local email newsletter from 4 News Now. Headlines, events, and staff picks every weeknight at 8 p.m. Sign up HERE to get your news on the D.L.
- Authorities need help identifying a porch pirate in north Spokane Valley
- National Forest officials planning to burn nearly 250 acres of debris near Tonasket
- Paving project to temporarily close Monroe Street Bridge at end of September
- Here's how you can get free dental care locally this Saturday!
- 100 people from 40 countries to become U.S. citizens in Spokane Tuesday
- One driver injured after colliding with school bus north of Riverfront Park; no children hurt