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Provides for religious and philosophical belief exemptions to vaccination

Location: MS
Title: Provides for religious and philosophical belief exemptions to vaccination
Identifier: SB 2636/HB 1457
Stance: SUPPORT
Action Required: Contact your legislators and ask them to support SB 2636
Status: Died in Committee on 1/31/2017

Description:

SB 2636 and HB 1457 were introduced on 01/16/17 and referred to the House and Senate Education and Public Health and Welfare Committees.  SB 2636 is sponsored by Senators Hill, Dearing, Witherspoon and Fillingane.  HB 1457 is sponsored by Rep. Formby. 

These bills would provide a religious and philosophical belief exemption to vaccination for school children in MS by adding the following new law.  The bill also allows a physician in any state to sign a medical exemption .

New law:

4)  (a)  No child seeking to attend any school shall be required to comply with the requirements of this section for any specific vaccination in order to attend the school if the parent or guardian or adult who has assumed responsibility for the child's care and custody in the case of a minor, or the child seeking admission if an emancipated minor, submits to the school a letter or affidavit that documents which required vaccinations have been given, and which vaccinations have not been given on the basis that they are contrary to his or her religious or philosophical beliefs.

          (b)  The parent or guardian or adult who has assumed responsibility for the child's care and custody in the case of a minor, or the child seeking admission if an emancipated minor, shall submit a letter to the school district or school of enrollment specifically stating the reasons for the philosophical and religious exemption from vaccinations sought in addition to a statement as to whether the aversion is to some or all vaccinations.  The letter or affidavit submitted shall also include, but not be limited to, the following:

              (i)  A statement that the parent or guardian who has assumed responsibility for the child's care and custody, in the case of a minor, or the child seeking admission if an emancipated minor, has been informed by a health care practitioner and school district regarding the risks and benefits of receiving vaccinations or not receiving vaccinations; and

              (ii)  A statement of understanding that:

                   1.  At the discretion of the State Department of Health or local health officer, the unimmunized child or individual may be removed from day care or school during an outbreak if the child or individual is not fully vaccinated; and

                   2.  The child or individual shall not return to school until the outbreak has been resolved and the State Department of Health or local health officer approves the return to school.

http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2017/pdf/history/SB/SB2636.xml - text, status and history for SB 2636

http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2017/pdf/history/HB/HB1457.xml - text, status and history for HB 1457