New Washington vaccine law in effect


Personal and philosophical MMR exemptions removed

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A new vaccine law that applies to public and private schools in Washington was put into effect on Sunday.

This bill removed the option to exempt children from the MMR vaccine for personal and philosophical reasons. The MMR is required in order to put kids in school and childcare centers.

According to the Washington DOH, this change was prompted by the recent measles outbreak in the state. However, they said that the overwhelming majority of elementary students are already vaccinated.

“This really won’t affect a whole lot of people,” said Danielle Koenig, Health Promotions Supervisor at the Washington DOH. “But it will make sure we have more people vaccinated than already are and that will help protect not only the kids who are getting the vaccine but it protects their classmates or baby siblings at home who can’t get their own vaccine for a medical condition or their age.”

The law doesn’t change any religious or medical exemptions, and it does not change personal or philosophical exemptions for other vaccines.

Officials with the Washington DOH are getting schools ready for this change, making sure administrators know the new vaccine requirements.

“These diseases that vaccines can prevent are serious and can be deadly,” said Koenig. “We want to make sure you’re protecting yourself, protecting your family and protecting those around you.”

Health officials say to check with your doctor to make sure you and your kids are up to date or check immunization records online.

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