HARRISBURG – June 15, 2018 – State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) today commented on a new study that shows an increase in Pennsylvanians choosing to not vaccinate their children against measles and other infectious diseases.
“People should be vaccinating their children,” Leach said. “The study published this week concerns me because Pennsylvanians are at risk. This study indicates that there has actually been an increase in parents choosing not to vaccinate their children. Vaccines save lives. There is no one out there who thinks that having polio is good. Vaccinate your kids so that they and the children they interact with are safe from these insufferable diseases.”
“Some claim that vaccines cause autism, but according to all research and most doctors and scientists, that’s simply not true,” Leach continued. “Vaccines prevent disease. The risks are far greater for your child when you choose not to vaccinate, and not vaccinating puts others at risk too.”
Leach introduced Senate Bill 217 in January of 2017. It awaits a vote in the Senate Education Committee. Leach’s legislation is designed to increase the number of Pennsylvania school children who are immunized against diseases that spread easily among groups, interrupt school life and threaten public health.
“Vaccines are safe,” Leach said. “They are essential to public health and the government should be doing whatever they can to encourage the highest possible vaccination rate.”
While the law in Pennsylvania requires that children receive certain vaccinations before they may attend school, exemptions exist for a pre-existing health issue, a religious objection, or “a strong moral or ethical conviction similar to a religious belief.”
Leach claims that Pennsylvania’s low vaccination rate may be due, in part, to the “strong moral or ethical conviction” exemption. His bill would remove this exemption. His legislation would not impact the religious or medical exemption.
Current Pennsylvania law requires immunization for diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, rubeola, rubella, mumps, hepatitis B, chickenpox, whooping cough and meningococcal disease.
Senator Daylin Leach represents the 17th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Montgomery County and Delaware County. He is also the Democratic Chairperson of the Senate Judiciary Committee. For more information visit www.senatorleach.com/newsroom.