Washington state parents may no longer cite personal or philosophical objections to refuse the MMR vaccine for their children, effective July 28, according to the state’s department of health.
“In Washington state we believe in our doctors. We believe in our nurses. We believe in our educators. We believe in science and we love our children,” Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said when he signed the bill into law on May 10. “And that is why in Washington State, we are against measles.”
The new law applies only to the MMR vaccine and “does not change religious and medical exemption laws. Children who have one of these types of exemptions on file are not affected by the new law,” the health department said.
Washington is one of 45 states that allows religious exemptions from school immunization requirements, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which also reported that 15 of those states allow personal-belief exemptions.
The five states that do not allow any form of nonmedical exemption are California, Maine, Mississippi, New York, and West Virginia.