On April 30, 2019, Rep. Gordon Hintz introduced LRB 0312, legislation that would eliminate the personal conviction waiver for state vaccination requirements. The bill needs broad bipartisan support to be introduced.
Yesterday, WIAAP members joined hundreds of primary care physicians and subspecialists at the Capitol in Madison as part of the 2019 Doctor Day. Advocates provided the science behind vaccine safety and efficacy, and stressed the importance of vaccination for individuals and all public settings.
We need our members and their clinician colleagues to contact state legislators by next Friday, May 10th, 2019 to urge them to co-sponsor this bill.
Remember to introduce yourself as “Dr. ___.” Every point of contact from constituents is documented, and offices pay even closer attention to appeals from physicians.
- Immunizations are a key element in protecting public health.
- Over 700 cases of measles have been identified in the US in 2019, the highest number since 1994.
- 3/4 of those infected were unvaccinated.
- Since the 1997-1998 school year, the percentage of students requesting a medical or religious exemption has been relatively constant, while those requesting a personal conviction exception has grown from 1.2% of students to 4.6% of students in 2018-2019.
- The increase in personal conviction exceptions has led to an overall drop in the percentage of students who meet minimum immunization requirements – down to 91.9%, the lowest in nearly 10 years.
- Low rates of immunization such as these threaten herd immunity.
- This bill addresses only the personal conviction exemption; it leaves in place medical and religious exemptions.
- Wisconsin is one of just 16 states that permits a personal conviction waiver.