In the State of Washington:
Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency today in all counties in response to more than two dozen confirmed cases of measles in our state.
“Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children,” Inslee stated in his proclamation. “The existence of 26 confirmed cases in the state of Washington creates an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties.”
The proclamation directs state agencies and departments to utilize state resources and do everything reasonably possible to assist affected areas. A proclamation is also necessary to utilize the Emergency Management Assistance Compact to request additional medical resources from other states.
The Washington State Department of Health has instituted an infectious disease Incident Management Structure to manage the public health aspects of the incident to include investigations, laboratory testing and other efforts to protect communities. Meanwhile, the Washington Military Department is coordinating resources to support DOH and local officials in alleviating the impacts to people, property and infrastructure.
Washington State Officials Declare State Of Emergency As Measles Outbreak Continues
January 28, 20199:36 PM ET
Health officials in Washington have declared a state of emergency and are urging immunization as they scramble to contain a measles outbreak in two counties, while the number of cases of the potentially deadly virus continues to climb in a region with lower-than-normal vaccination rates.
Measles was declared completely eliminated within the U.S. in 2000 because the country’s widespread vaccination program. However, state laws allowing parents to opt out of mandatory vaccinations quickly began eroding those statistics, leading to outbreaks across the nation.
Meanwhile, in the Missouri General Assembly Representative Lynn Morris (r) introduced HB 711:
Prohibits discrimination against children who are not immunized
Sponsor: Morris, Lynn (140)
Proposed Effective Date: 8/28/2019
LR Number: 1670H.01I
Last Action: 01/29/2019 – Read Second Time (H)
The bill [pdf] includes:
191.260. No child shall be discriminated against by any health care provider because he or she has not been immunized as required due to a proper exemption.
Currently, under RSMo 210.003
2. A child who has not completed all immunizations appropriate for his or her age may enroll, if:
(1) Satisfactory evidence is produced that such child has begun the process of immunization. The child may continue to attend as long as the immunization process is being accomplished according to the ACIP/Missouri department of health and senior services recommended schedule;
(2) The parent or guardian has signed and placed on file with the day care administrator a statement of exemption which may be either of the following:
(a) A medical exemption, by which a child shall be exempted from the requirements of this section upon certification by a licensed physician that such immunization would seriously endanger the child’s health or life; or
(b) A parent or guardian exemption, by which a child shall be exempted from the requirements of this section if one parent or guardian files a written objection to immunization with the day care administrator [….]
[….] 6. Nothing in this section shall preclude any political subdivision from adopting more stringent rules regarding the immunization of preschool children. [….]
“…A parent or guardian exemption, by which a child shall be exempted from the requirements of this section if one parent or guardian files a written objection to immunization with the day care administrator…”
The current statute contains a clause that appears to effectively be a personal belief exemption, one other than for religious or medical reasons. Can you see where this bill could be going? It looks like under HB 711 a medical provider won’t be able to drop a patient from their practice because of a parent’s anti-vaxxer beliefs.
That’s working out so well right now in the State of Washington.