Minnesota rep wants vaccine-objecting parents to meet with doctor first

State Rep. Mike Freiberg is introducing a bill that would require Minnesota parents to meet with a doctor before opting out of their child's standard vaccinations. Minnesota's school immunization law includes an exemption for conscientious objectors.

"No student is required to have an immunization that is contrary to the conscientiously held beliefs of his/her parent or guardian. However, not following vaccine recommendations may endanger the health or life of the student or others they come in contact with. In a disease outbreak schools may exclude children who are not vaccinated in order to protect them and others. To receive an exemption to vaccination, a parent or legal guardian must complete and sign the following statement and have it notarized."

"Children are getting sick and being hospitalized because some parents do not understand the overwhelming evidence that vaccinations prevent serious illness," said Rep. Freiberg (DFL-Golden Valley). "Choosing to not immunize your child puts your child and others at risk for serious illness, including diseases like the measles, mumps, whooping cough, and others which are all preventable."

The small, but vocal anti-vaccine movement includes some parents who believe some vaccines are unnecessary, unsafe and ineffective, and others who simply stand behind their right of refusal. It also includes parents who believe the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is linked to autism – a fear that was born out of a 1998 study in the British medical journal The Lancet that has been disproven and retracted.

CDC: Concerns about autism and vaccines

Vaccines required in Minnesota schools

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP, DTP, DT)

- for children age 6 years and younger

- final dose on or after age 4 years

Tetanus and Diphtheria (Td)

- for children age 7 years and older

-3 doses of Td required for children not up to date with DTaP, DTP, or DT series above

Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap)

- for children in 7th - 12th grade

Polio (IPV, OPV)

- final dose on or after age 4 years

Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)

- minimum age: on or after 1st birthday

Hepatitis B (hep B)

Varicella (chickenpox)

- minimum age: on or after 1st birthday

- vaccine or disease history required

Meningococcal (MCV, MPSV)

- for children in 7th - 12th grade

Additional vaccines recommended, but not required

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Hepatitis A (hep A)

Influenza (annually for children 6 months and older)

View more information on Minnesota's school immunization law at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/immunize/laws/schlaw.html

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