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Vaccinate your kids!

Friday, Feb 21, 2020

* I told subscribers about this bill the other day and the huge number of hysterical opposition phonecalls Sen. Steans’ offices are receiving

Under newly introduced state legislation, parents in Illinois would no longer be able to claim religion as a reason to refuse vaccinations for their children — a move backed by public health officials as a way to stave off outbreaks of diseases once thought to be eradicated, and shunned by groups vocal about their objections to vaccines.

The bill introduced last week would also limit the reasons allowed for a medical exemption for the immunizations required to enter all Illinois schools, and would allow students as young as 14 to obtain a vaccine without the consent of their parents. If passed, Illinois would become the sixth state to remove religious exemptions, effectively making only certain medical conditions or reactions a way for students in Illinois schools to avoid vaccination. […]

In 2016, the state tightened the rules surrounding religious exemptions, requiring that health care providers sign off and verify that they had provided vaccine education. Despite that, religious exemptions have increased for several vaccines, according to state records. Exemptions based solely on personal or philosophical beliefs are not allowed in Illinois.

Medical experts say high vaccination rates — usually 95% or more, depending on the disease — are necessary to protect those who cannot be vaccinated due to autoimmune disorders or other medical reasons. But distrust in vaccines has caused some Americans to refuse vaccines for their children despite wide availability. This, in part, is blamed for the reemergence of some diseases like measles, according to the World Health Organization, which considers vaccine hesitancy a global health threat.

The bill is here.

* CBS News

The legislation has the backing of the Illinois Department of Public Health, according to spokeswoman Melaney Arnold, the Chicago Tribune reports. The department hopes the bill will increase vaccination rates in the Prairie State “and reduce the risk of severe illness among our most vulnerable populations,” according to the outlet.

Opponents of the bill vehemently disagree with the proposed changes. The Illinois Vaccine Awareness Coalition, a group which regularly advocates against the use of vaccines, posted a call to oppose the bill on its website.

“Please WITHDRAW SB3668 – this bill is unnecessary and discriminatory,” the group wrote as an example of what to say to the bill’s sponsor. “Vaccine exemptions are not the problem, schools failing to collect and submit vaccine record paperwork is the problem…Please focus on the serious record keeping issue and don’t remove religious and parental rights based on misrepresented immunization levels.”

Most of the replies to Sen. Steans’ Facebook post are just way over the top. They’re a clear demonstration of why this policy is needed. People are endangering others’ lives.

* More

According to the synopsis of the bill, the proposed legislation would remove all language from state law that would let children attend school without being vaccinated because of religious reasons.

According to state immunization data, about 3% of all Illinois students are not vaccinated against major diseases from measles and mumps to polio and chicken pox.

It amounts to about 64,000 students statewide. Of those, about 18,000 are listed as noncompliant due to religious exemptions. About 2,300 are not vaccinated because of medical reasons. Less than 5,000 students are on approved alternate schedules.

As we’ve discussed before, some schools have huge non-compliance rates.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Bothanspy - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 11:14 am:

    For those of us without Facebook, what is the gist of the comments on Sen. Steans page?

  2. - Graduated College Student - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 11:27 am:

    Bothanspy-the lead off comment is saying this is an overreaction and points out that no one died in the last measles outbreak.

  3. - Drake Mallard - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 11:30 am:

    There is no right to put other peoples children in danger. Agree 100%.
    Medical exmptions only is just basic common sence.

  4. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 11:34 am:

    Evangelical Stupidity is its own religion these days.

  5. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 11:42 am:

    Fun fact: there are no religions with an edict stating vaccines should be refused.

    That exemption should never have been in the law to begin with.

    This bill is good news. Both of them.

  6. - NotMe - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 11:44 am:

    So many comments declaring these bills as an attack on personal choice or bodily autonomy…guessing many of the same folks attacked the sponsors of HB40 and RHA too though.

  7. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 11:47 am:

    The following denominations do have a theological objection to vaccination:
    • Dutch Reformed Congregations
    • Faith healing denominations including:
    • Faith Tabernacle
    • Church of the First Born
    • Faith Assembly
    • End Time Ministrie
    • Church of Christ, Scientist - One of the basic teachings of this denomination is that disease can be cured or prevented by focused prayer and members will often request exemptions when available. However, there are not strict rules against vaccination and members can receive required vaccinations

  8. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 11:47 am:

    ===guessing many of the same folks attacked the sponsors of HB40 and RHA===

    Maybe, but the left has more than its share of loons on this issue.

  9. - RNUG - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 11:58 am:

    I can see the next proposal coming for healthcare cost savings… that government healthcare programs and private health insurance stop covering any cost of treatment for patients that did not receive a vaccine and subsequently come down sick with an illness the vaccine could have prevented.

    Simple marketplace solution to the problem /s

  10. - Jocko - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 12:13 pm:

    ==The following denominations do have a theological objection to vaccination==

    Perhaps that explains why members of this Facebook group told the mom of a 4-year old to NOT to take his prescribed Tamiflu.

  11. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 12:30 pm:

    ==The following denominations do have a theological objection to vaccination==

    Not really.

    Christian science, for example. The founder directly stated that where there is a law that requires vaccines, the law should be followed.

    Any religion that explicitly prohibits vaccines, is advocating child abuse. A religion that states you should starve your child would not indemnify you from prosecution for child abuse.

    We are going to find out real quick who actually has religious objections. Those people will willingly go to jail in support of their beliefs.

    I would put money that 99.9999% of people suddenly won’t have a religious objection once it becomes law.

    It’s just too easy to claim the religious exemption currently, and it is obviously being abused by people who do not actually hold those religious beliefs, but instead use it as a loophole for their uneducated anti-vax nonsense.

  12. - OneMan - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 12:37 pm:

    I have a family member who debates anti-vaxers on twitter, it is some quality entertainment. Most of those folks are true believers. I would also suspect, that the vast majority of them do not have a religious objection.

    That all being said, never underestimate the righteous fury of someone who has full confidence that X, Y or Z is best for their child and is not allowed to do or have X, Y or Z.

    Also never underestimate the ability for people to believe that the largely held belief on anything exists because of some larger entity/conspiracy pushing it.

  13. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 12:40 pm:

    ===suddenly won’t have a religious objection once it becomes law===

    Correct. They’ll likely do what Californians did and find a quack doctor to give them a medical exemption. California finally tightened up those laws last year, but hundreds of loons protested.

    Steans’ bill is inadequate on that front.

  14. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 12:50 pm:

    ===Steans’ bill is inadequate on that front.===

    perhaps, but it’s moving in the right direction.

    Not all those currently claiming religious exemption will be getting a medical exemption. Sure, some will. But not all.

    In the big picture, it will increase the overall vaccination rate, even if only a little.

    Any law that keeps the total rate as high as possible, and moves it in that direction, should be supported.

  15. - Mason born - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 1:36 pm:

    It seems to me those with a “legit” Religous issue still have a choice.they could homeschool their kids if they don’t like it. (Possible I missed something) I’m not sure how feasible it is but it’d be nice if Scouts, Little League, etc. would require vaccines, w medical exception of course, for participation.

  16. - Ann - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 1:38 pm:

    Argh–those comments. Here’s another example. “Did you know the most effective treatment for measles is vitamin A? A vitamin lacking in impoverished nations? And they jailed people for giving it out? I wonder why…..”

  17. - Washingtonian - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 1:42 pm:

    When religion contradicts science religion must lose.

  18. - Bourbon Street - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 2:46 pm:

    ==There is no right to put other peoples children in danger. Agree 100%==

    @Drake Mallard is correct. I would add that there is no right to put anyone else at risk. Many people have compromised immune systems arising from autoimmune disorders, cancer, chemotherapy, and other disorders. So when anti-vaxxers refuse to vaccinate their kids because the information they get from Jenny McCarthy and RFK, Jr. is so much more valuable (snark) than the information they get from a medical doctor, they are putting a whole lot of innocent people at risk.

  19. - JBFan - Friday, Feb 21, 20 @ 3:05 pm:

    I read some of the Facebook comments…such ignorance and people spouting the same chant over and over again. The few level-headed commenters are quick to be attacked. Also, what is a “vaccine injury?” I see this term thrown around but no description of what that actually entails.

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* NRCC escalates rhetoric against Casten, calling him "an asset for China’s Communist Party"
* What's up with this new EO?
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Playing a belated game of catch-up
* ACLU urges police restraint
* Rep. Wilhour wants "discussion" about herd immunity
* To Flowbee or not to Flowbee
* The numbers behind the bickering
* Good news, bad news
* Open thread
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