Vaccine exemption debate continues in Olympia

    Vaccine exemption debate continues in Olympia

    TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- After a measles outbreak in Western Washington, lawmakers are trying to ban personal vaccine exemptions.

    Senate Bill 5841 would prevent parents from choosing not to vaccinate their kids unless there were a religious or medical reason.

    While this debate continues in Olympia, a local doctor wants to debunk some vaccination myths.

    Doctor Amy Person said one of the biggest myths circulating is that the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine causes autism.

    “MMR does not cause autism,” Dr. Person said. “There are multiple studies that show that is not the case.”

    Doctor Person said another myth is that you can get flu from the flu shot.

    “The flu shot is inactivated,” she said. “So it's impossible to catch that virus from the shot.”

    She said most vaccines are inactivated.

    “We're giving vaccines because we want to prevent disease,” Dr. Person said.

    And Wednesday in Olympia lawmakers debated senate bill 5841--weighing heavy in the room is the legitimate concern of the measles outbreak in western Washington.

    “This outbreak threatens the health of not only unvaccinated children, but those who cannot receive vaccinations, such as newborns,” Sen. Annette Cleveland said.

    The law would remove the option for parents to not vaccinate their children for personal reasons.

    Bill opponents said this law would take away their freedom of medical choice.

    The senate committee on health and long-term care will next discuss this bill on Friday morning.

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