/Vaccine exemption bill watered down to a study committee

Vaccine exemption bill watered down to a study committee

Andy Gipson (R-Braxton) announced that the Mississippi Vaccine Research Group would conduct research and “reach out solutions” to this issue during a Judiciary B Committee Meeting. This follows a contentious hearing on House Bill 1505, which would allow religious exemptions from vaccinations. “The many concerned parents who shared their personal experiences with this topic have shown that there are serious problems with Mississippi’s current vaccination exemptions. Mississippi does not allow medical exemptions for vaccinations. 47 states currently allow parents to choose not to vaccinate their children because they are religious. West Virginia, California, and Mississippi are the only exceptions. Gipson, a Baptist preacher, said that “the inability to obtain any religious exemptions in Mississippi is troubling for many parents, me included.” Tuesday is the deadline for both the Senate and House to pass general legislation out of committee. Gipson instead of calling for a vote in committee on HB 1505, Gipson announced that the study group had been formed. This avoided a lengthy battle on the House’s floor. Gipson stated that the House speaker will appoint members to the commission, which will include parents, researchers, medical professionals, as well as parents. The report will include recommendations and research by the committee by December 15, 2018. Gipson stated that members of the Legislature would like to see how religious exemptions work in the 47 states across the country that provide religious exemptions for their citizens. “Meanwhile, other unanswered questions include the reason Mississippi’s medical exemptions are so difficult to obtain.”