Bill would eliminate Wisconsin's personal conviction waiver for vaccines

NOW: Bill would eliminate Wisconsin’s personal conviction waiver for vaccines

WAUWATOSA (CBS 58) -- A bill introduced by Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) proposes getting rid of Wisconsin’s personal conviction waiver for vaccinations.

If passed, the legislation means parents will not be able to opt out of having their children vaccinated for personal reasons.

“It’s not just about protecting those individuals, vaccines protect everyone,” Hintz said.

Physicians at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin are in favor of the bill. “As a pediatrician, I really want kids to be able to grow up healthy and grow up free of diseases that we can prevent,” said Dr. Lyn Ranta, associate chief medical officer.

The proposal comes as cases of measles continue to rise in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 700 cases were confirmed in 22 states, this year.

“We want everybody to understand how serious an illness this is," Dr. Ranta said. "How incredibly contagious it is, the fact that someone can have measles, leave the room and the germ is still in the air and contagious two hours later."

While Wisconsin isn't one of the states reporting measles cases, Rep. Hintz said it’s a public health issue.

“We’re heading in the wrong direction. Just like we care about public safety with law enforcement and criminal justice, we also care about public health, and I don’t want to see us have a measles outbreak in order to get people to vaccinate their children,” he said.

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