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Iowa state Senate rejects anti-vaccine bills
The Iowa state Senate Tuesday rejected a bill that would have prohibited health insurance providers and insurance companies from discriminating against people who refuse to get vaccinated.
The Associated Press reported that a Human Resources subcommittee voted down the bill that would have created the Vaccination Safety and Right of Refusal Act. The vote was 2-1, with a Democrat and a Republican teaming up to defeat the bill.
The body also shot down a bill to allow philosophical exemptions from vaccinations for families seeking to enroll children in schools or child care centers.
Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) has said vaccines are important, especially given recent outbreaks of measles and other diseases, and that existing medical and religious exemptions from vaccinations adequately address the worries of anti-vaccine advocates.
The number of religious exemptions requested for vaccines has skyrocketed, more than tripling from 2,572 in the 2006-07 school year to 8,740 in the 2017-18 school year, according to the DesMoines Register.
The news comes after Washington state was forced to declare a public health emergency after an outbreak of measles ripped through an anti-vaccination "hot spot."