Debate Over Philosophical Exemption To Continue

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Whether Vermont should maintain or eliminate a philosophical exemption for parents who don’t want to get their kids vaccinated may be one of the toughest issues facing lawmakers as they enter the final weeks of the 2012 session.

The Vermont Senate has passed a bill aimed at removing the philosophical exemption, while leaving medical and religious exemptions intact. Backers of the change say immunizations are an important public health measure, and that Vermont’s immunization rates have dropped too low.

But the House sided with those who say it’s a matter of parental freedom, and voted to maintain the philosophical exemption.

Lawmakers likely will have to work out that big difference in a conference committee.

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