Ohio bill would force public schools to disclose options for vaccine exemptions

Ohio bill would force public schools to disclose options for vaccine exemptions
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A new bill introduced in the Ohio legislature this week would force public schools to provide information to parents letting them know their options for vaccine exemptions.

The Dayton Daily News reports House Bill 132 was introduced Tuesday and would likely lead to an increase in unvaccinated children in schools if parents were told all the reasons for which their children would be exempt from vaccination requirements.

Currently, Ohio law gives parents the option to not vaccinate their children for medical reasons or “reasons of conscience.” The recently introduced measure would force school districts to clearly explain the options in forms given to parents.

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“The intent of the bill is to make sure people are given the correct information,” state Rep. Don Manning (R), the bill's sponsor, told the local news outlet.

He said the bill was prompted by complaints he heard of school districts misinforming parents about all their options, claiming Ohio law does not allow for any exemptions to vaccines.

The proposed measure comes as the anti-vaccination movement in the U.S. grows and measles outbreaks have been reported in at least six states.

Specific areas in the Pacific Northwest and Texas with low vaccination rates have had a significant number of individuals contract the measles virus, which can largely be avoided with a vaccine.

The outbreaks have mostly impacted unvaccinated children.

A landmark study recently published found no link between the use of vaccines and autism.