Vaccinations

Amid Measles Outbreaks, Debate Grows Over Religious Exemptions From Vaccination

Apr 29, 2019
CDC

Toni Wilkinson has seven children, three of them under six, and all of them home-schooled. So her house on a Lexington, Kentucky, cul-de-sac is rarely quiet.

Just inside the front door are bins filled with shoes, piles of jackets on a long bench. Across the room is the family library, crammed with school books. Crowded among them are controversial titles critical of vaccinations, the books Wilkinson used in her own homework researching vaccines.

“I just started to have questions, it was just this lingering doubt that I can’t really explain,” she said.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Measles cases have spiked in the first quarter of 2019 with outbreaks in ten states. Vaccinations prevent many communicable diseases, but measles is back. Epidemiologists believe it's because some parents do not immunize their children. As a result, the so called “herd protection” from disease that public health officials rely on, is weaker.

Fæ / wikimedia commons

West Virginia health officials are encouraging providers to ensure their patients over six months old get flu vaccinations.

immunization
Fæ / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia health and education officials say immunizations for children are available at more than 380 Vaccines for Children provider locations, including local health departments.

They say uninsured or underinsured children can get free vaccinations at those sites.

Vaccine Bill Provision Loses Support

Feb 4, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Coming up on West Virginia Morning, Three senators have removed their names from a bill once they realized that it would make religious belief a valid reason for exemption from vaccines that are required for children to attend school.

West Virginia Legislative Photography

A Senate committee removed religious exemptions from a bill allowing local physicians to exempt children from some vaccines with the approval of the state chief health officer Tuesday. The original bill would have allowed for the religious exemptions in addition to medical exceptions already contained in state law.

Three Senators removed their names from the bills as sponsors before the Senate Health Committee took up the bill Tuesday. Sen. Mike Hall said his sponsorship was a clerical error to begin with, but Senators Mark Maynard and Chris Walters removed their backing because of concerns over the religious exemption in the original bill.

Religious Exemption Pulled from Vaccinations Bill

Feb 3, 2015

  At the legislature today, as a measles outbreak makes national headlines, a senate committee considered a bill to provide  religious and medical exemptions for vaccinations. But after further discussion, the religious exemption is off the table.  We’ll talk about this and other health issues with the Chairman of the House Health Committee on The Legislature Today.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources urges parents to take action to ensure children have the proper vaccinations before school starts.  

Liz McCormick

The hot topic at this year’s Immunization Summit in Charleston was measles. An outbreak of the disease in Ohio has health care officials in West Virginia worried.