Health Commissioner Offers Immunization Compromise

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Vermont’s health commissioner is offering a compromise on his push to eliminate the exemption from school immunization for the children of parents who have philosophical objections.

Dr. Harry Chen wants an end to allowing parents to skip immunizations for philosophical reasons. He says the shots are an important public health measure. A religious exemption would remain.

Chen has been running into stiff opposition from some parents who have questions about the health effects of some vaccines and who believe they should get to make decisions about their children’s health care.

On Wednesday, Chen proposed a compromise to a Senate committee. Parents could use the philosophical exemption, but would need to get a note from a primary care provider saying they’d been educated about vaccine risks and benefits.

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