Tags: Vaccines | vaccination | exemptions | kansas

Which Vaccination Exemptions Are Allowed by Kansas?

By    |   Tuesday, 14 Jul 2015 07:05 PM

Wearing T-shirts that said “Kansans for Vaccine Rights,” dozens of people attended a 2012 Kansas legislative hearing in support of a proposal to enable parents to obtain exemptions from vaccination requirements for their children due to personal beliefs. That bill failed to get out of committee, and the Sunflower State continues to allow such exemptions only for medical and religious reasons.

All 50 states require children to receive certain immunizations to enroll in school, with each state also allowing exemptions to immunization requirements for medical reasons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Almost all states permit exemptions for religious reasons, while 20 allow philosophical exemptions “for those who object to immunizations because of personal, moral or other beliefs,” the NCSL reported.

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Kansas allows both medical and religious exemptions. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment website says those apply:

• When the child provides the school a written statement, signed by a licensed physician, saying the tests or shots would seriously endanger the child’s life or health.

• When the child provides a written statement, signed by a parent or guardian, saying he or she “is an adherent of a religious denomination whose religious teachings are opposed to such tests or inoculations.”

Kansas does not allow philosophical exemptions because of personal beliefs, according to the NCSL.

Proponents seeking to change that by allowing exemptions based on conscience or personal belief introduced HB 2094, a bill that would have taken that step, in 2011 in the Kansas Legislature. A legislative committee in January 2012 received written testimony from opponents of that bill, They included Melissa Carlson, a parent who asked legislators to reject the proposal and “lead a charge for scientific research and the longstanding role of public health departments,” the Kansas City Star reported.

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The dozens of people who attended a January 2012 hearing in support of the proposal included Melissa Craven, a parent who addressed long-held worries that some families don’t tell the truth when they claim religious reasons for wanting an exemption. Craven told legislators that “having a ‘conscientious objection’ exemption would give her the freedom to send her kids to public schools ‘without having to lie,’” the Star reported.

However, legislators opted not to grant her request and HB 2094 died in committee on June 1, 2012.

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All 50 states require children to receive certain immunizations to enroll in school, with each state also allowing exemptions to immunization requirements for medical reasons. Kansas allows both medical and religious exemptions.
vaccination, exemptions, kansas
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2015-05-14
Tuesday, 14 Jul 2015 07:05 PM
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