Families who don’t vaccinate their children in Missouri say they are discriminated against at schools and doctors’ offices and want that to change.
Representative Lynn Morris proposed a bill to a House health committee Monday afternoon to prohibit what is described as vaccine discrimination for children who have received exemptions from vaccinations for medical reasons and religious beliefs.
Morris, who was a pharmacist, said he is not against vaccines, but rather for safe vaccines.
“In the constitution, we’re all guaranteed our religious freedoms, and so all I’m asking for is to have a religious exemption or to have a medical exemption," he said. “We want everyone to have the right to choose. I think that most people will go ahead and continue to vaccinate their children.”
Morris said county health departments and physicians should respect the rights of those who do not want to vaccinate their children.
Katie Blount is a pediatrician in Missouri who says she has concerns about the bill and misinformation surrounding vaccination on the Internet.
“Vaccines are one of our most safest, studied, effective ways to take care of kiddos. It’s the best way that I know to take care of my patients, and I hope that Missouri can have strong policy to support that.”
Supporters of the bill include parents who oppose vaccinating their children for medical or religious reasons and have said they are discriminated against from doctors, schools and socially.