HB715 and SB450 were voted out of their committees yesterday. SB450 will be heard on the Senate floor this evening and HB715 will be heard on the House floor no later than tomorrow evening.
Legislators need to hear from the vast majority of Montanans that support vaccines, not from the vocal minority of misinformed anti-vaccine supporters that want to dismantle the vaccine requirements that keep all Montanans safe from preventable diseases.
This is our last chance to kill these bills before transmittal. Please message your representative and senator as soon as possible!
If you don’t know the names of your legislators you can look them up with your address here.
Thank you for your action,
MT Families for Vaccines
Making it easier for parent to opt-out of vaccines puts all Montanans in danger of preventable diseases.
Including exemption options with vaccine requirements sends a message to parents that vaccines are not important and can easily be skipped without risks.
When it’s easier to opt-out of required immunizations, vaccine rates go down and risks of outbreaks increase.
It’s important for parents to make medical decisions in collaboration with their pediatrician or family doctor.
Vaccines protect not only oneself but families, neighbors, and communities. They are especially important for children, older adults, those who are immunocompromised, and those who may not be able to get vaccinated. We count on these numbers to keep everyone safe.
Childcare providers should be able to choose if they allow unvaccinated children into their establishments, especially when providing care in their own homes.
Allowing unvaccinated children in childcare settings poses a large risk to children ages 0-5 years who are unable to fully vaccinate because parents and doctors are following guidelines for initial immunizations and boosters.
This legislation is unnecessary because processes exist for vaccine exemptions, meaning a child’s parent or guardian may request an exemption in writing for medical or religious reasons.
This will cost taxpayers money. This is an unfunded mandate for state health departments that will be tasked with investigating and containing a disease outbreak. For example, the cost of a whooping cost outbreak in a single school is $51,000; the cost of a measles outbreak in Minnesota in 2017 was $1.3 million; and; the annual cost of an average flu season is $87 billion.
The weakening of school entry requirements will lead to an increase in the transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases, causing kids to miss school and parents to miss work.
The vast majority of Montana parents support routine vaccination of children and adolescents, and more than 94% of kindergarteners in public schools nationally are vaccinated as required by current state laws.
School immunization requirements have a long and successful history and were implemented to prevent communicable diseases, including measles, whooping cough, and polio.
Montana would be out of step with the rest of the nation. The list of states that permit nonmedical exemptions is shrinking, not expanding—no state has added a new philosophical exemption/conscientious objection for routinely recommended immunizations required for school entry in 20 years.
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