Formby working on vaccine bill

Published 7:00 am Thursday, February 25, 2016

This legislative session, District 108 Representative Mark Formby introduced two bills regarding vaccinations for school-age children.
The first bill, House Bill No. 939 died in committee, Formby said.
“We are trying to get parents the right to choose which vaccinations they want their children to have,” he said. “It’s the same right that parents have in 47 others states. I don’t know why parents in Mississippi should be considered less intelligent.”
The second bill, House Bill No. 938, would allow parents or guardians of school-age children to obtain letters of exemption or limiting the number of vaccinations from a physician for medical reasons.
All 50 states have a medical exemption, Formby said. However, in Mississippi, local health officers at the Mississippi State Department of Health could overrule a child’s doctor by either outright denial or by not responding at all, he said.
According to the bill, the opinion of the physician who signed the letter is final so the school must accept it.
House Bill 938 passed committee Tuesday and has been placed on the House calendar, Formby said, which should come up for a vote before March 3.
Formby, who is the father of an autistic son, said during the process of treating his son, he met parents who disagreed with some vaccinations.
“They believed these vaccinations were the reason for their child’s illness,” he said. “I did research and lots of people believe that. I do know that if your child is vaccinated, they shouldn’t be afraid of a child that isn’t. In 47 states, this has been the rule of law and none of the events the MSDH say happened have happened.”

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