House committee to hold hearing on immunization bill

The House Health Care Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate bill S.199, a bill that would eliminate the philosophical exemption allowing parents to enroll children in public school without immunizations.

The hearing will be held Wednesday, March 21, in room 11 at the statehouse from 6 to 8 p.m. Witnesses, who will each have approximately three minutes to testify, can start signing up to speak at 5:30 p.m.

AAPVT and the Vermont Medical Society urge their members to actively support S.199, as written and without compromise, either by testifying during the hearing or contacting members of the committee. A roster of the House Health Care Committee is available here. Members can also support the legislation by submitting written testimony to committee staffer Loring Starr at lstarr@leg.state.vt.us.

In passing the bill two weeks ago as first written, the Senate rejected attempts to water it down by amending the bill with a “compromise.” The amendment would have allowed philosophical exemptions after a discussion between a parent and a child’s primary care provider about immunizations had taken place and if the provider then “signed off” on the parents’ decision to forgo immunizations.

AAPVT and VMS argued that the compromise would not adequately protect school children and would lend credence to vaccine objections despite scientific evidence overwhelmingly supporting their effectiveness and importance.

Contact Information

President: Carol Blackwood, M.D.

Executive Director: Stephanie Winters

Telephone: (802) 223-7898

FAX: (802) 223-1201

Postal Address:
P.O. Box 1457
Montpelier, VT 05601

Email: swinters@vtmd.org