Tags: Vaccines | mississippi | vaccination | exemptions

Which Vaccination Exemptions Are Allowed by Mississippi?

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Jul 2015 12:53 PM

Mississippi has the nation's highest vaccination rate, and some attribute that to a lack of exemptions that are typical in most states.

In 2014, 99.7 percent of all kindergartners had been immunized, according to the Washington Post.

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"The secret of Mississippi’s success stems from a strong public health program and — most importantly — a strict mandatory vaccination law that lacks the loopholes found in almost every other state," the newspaper wrote.

Physicians in Mississippi can offer a written exemption from immunization for medical reasons. But it is submitted to a local health officer who can grant or reject that exemption if he or she deems it not harmful to a community, the National Vaccine Information Center said.

Those tough Mississippi exemptions laws were challenged by HB 130 in January 2015; the bill tried to expand the exemptions to include philosophical reasons, the Clarion-Ledger reported.

But amid fierce objections, the House Education committee dropped the philosophical objections, passing the bill to remove the ability of the local health officer to reject medical exemptions, the CL said.

Even then, the bill died on the calendar without coming to a House vote, the Hattiesburg American reported.

A full text of the Mississippi code for immunizations can be found at law.resource.org.

It noted that schools are responsible for enforcing immunization participation:

"Any child not in compliance at the end of ninety (90) days from the opening of the fall term must be suspended until in compliance, unless the health officer shall attribute the delay to lack of supply of vaccine or some other such factor clearly making compliance impossible. Failure to enforce provisions of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor and upon conviction be punishable by fine or imprisonment or both."

URGENT: Should States Be Allowed to Make Health Decisions for Your Children?

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, from March 2015, "All 50 states have legislation requiring specified vaccines for students. Although exemptions vary from state to state, all school immunization laws grant exemptions to children for medical reasons. Almost all states grant religious exemptions for people who have religious beliefs against immunizations."

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Mississippi has the nation's highest vaccination rate, and some attribute that to a lack of exemptions that are typical in most states.
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2015-53-22
Wednesday, 22 Jul 2015 12:53 PM
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