Recent outbreaks of measles and whooping cough underscore need for greater awareness

LANSING – Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D – East Lansing) introduced legislation today that will require schools and state licensed daycares to post their immunization rates either online or in their building. These bills will help protect kids and keep Michigan parents better informed.

“The recent outbreaks of once outdated diseases has created a need for legislation that will protect at-risk students and communities,” Senator Hertel said. “As a Senator, a former Department of Community Health employee and a parent, I want to do everything I can to promote a safe and healthy Michigan and protect vulnerable kids. Providing this information will be a major weapon in helping parents protect their children, especially those with weakened immune systems due to chemotherapy and autoimmune disorders. One parent’s prerogative shouldn’t jeopardize another parent’s child.”

This package of bills, Senate Bills 259, 260 and 261, will not infringe on parental discretion regarding vaccinations, but simply require all schools and daycares to make their vaccination records and information publicly available. While this legislation will establish a helpful tool for all parents, it will be especially beneficial for at-risk students, especially those with an autoimmune disorder, are undergoing chemotherapy or cannot be vaccinated because they have a vaccine allergy. Michigan’s vaccination rates for children in the 0-18 month age-range are particularly low, so these bills will also better equip parents with children in daycares to identify and promote a safe and healthy environment for them.

In recent months, Michigan has seen several outbreaks of measles, whooping cough and other diseases once largely subdued through vaccinations. Children are especially susceptible to these health risks because of their vulnerable immune systems and communal environment at school, and Senator Hertel is leading the charge to promote greater awareness of these risks.

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