By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
Arizona lawmakers approved three measures that foes said could result in fewer children being vaccinated even amid outbreaks of measles in pockets across the nation.
Members of the House Committee on Health and Human Services voted 5-4 along party lines to do the following:
- require parents to be given extensive information about the risks of vaccines, including multi-page inserts that are prepared for doctors, a list of the ingredients and how to file a claim for damages;
- expand the exemptions available to parents who do not want their children to receive state-mandated vaccines and eliminate a requirement that they review and sign a form that informs them of the risks;
- mandate that parents have the option of having their children tested first to see if they already have immunity.
The votes came over the objections from a string of doctors and other medical professionals who told lawmakers that the changes will undermine public health, at least in part by inundating parents with information that will only confuse them and cause them to have second thoughts.