On September 4, 2019, Senator Rebecca Rausch filed bill S.2359, titled “An Act promoting community immunity,” with a companion bill, H.4096, sponsored by Representative Paul Donato. The “Community Immunity Act” is being advertised as a way to standardize and centralize immunization requirements and exemption processes, in part by transferring more administrative power to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). This bill affects children in public, private and charter schools, child care centers, any school activities, including those open to home-schooled children, recreational camps, and institutes of higher learning (both public and private).
THE BILL HAS SINCE BEEN AMENDED TO BECOME "AN ACT PROMOTING COMMUNITY IMMUNITY WITH THE BILL NUMBERS S.2763 & H.4784
ABOUT THE BILL:
Health Choice 4 Action has identified several aspects of this bill that violate basic human rights, medical ethics, and principles of informed consent. Provisions in this bill would allow vaccination without parental consent, limit medical exemptions for medically-fragile children, and limit religious freedom with respect to vaccination exemptions. Additionally, provisions in this bill would increase the risk of discrimination and bullying for those who use medical and religious exemptions. Finally, the taxpayer cost and administrative burden of this bill are not justified given the historically low incidence of vaccine-preventable illness in the Commonwealth and the current processes in place already working to safeguard public health in Massachusetts. The Legislature and DPH should be focused on more significant public health threats, including the opioid crisis, rising rates of chronic illness in children and adults, and the surge in psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders among children and adolescents.
"AN ACT PROMOTING
THINGS YOU CAN DO
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