Health Insider Update


Michigan Law Makers Aim to Simplify the Vaccination Waiver Process

Michigan Law Makers Aim to Simplify the Vaccination Waiver Process
January 17
13:03 2016

Currently in the state of Michigan, parents that seek to get a vaccination waiver have to endure a long process to obtain one. First, they have to attend a meeting with a local health worker, who advises them of the risks of not getting their children vaccinated. Second, they have to sign a form acknowledging that they have been informed of these risks. Not to mention, the location of these appointments at county health departments are often not convenient for the parents.

Without this form, the state law requires parents to immunize their school-aged students from vaccine-preventable diseases, including polio, weasels and whopping cough.

This strict procedure to secure the vaccination waivers was put in place in 2014 as an attempt to improve the disease outbreaks, which were attributed to the low immunization rate.

The director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Nick Lyon has pointed out that the vaccination rates have started to improve. “Immunizations are proven to be effective and safe. …When people choose not to get vaccinated, they’re not only putting themselves at risk, they’re putting others at risk,” Lyon told

However, many are voicing opinions that it should be up to the parent to decide what is best for their child, and they should not be subjected to a lecture about their decisions.

Last week, Rep. Tom Hooker introduced House Bills 5126 and 5127, which would prohibit the department from enforcing waiver regulations that have not been mandated in the current state law. Parents would no longer have to attend the vaccination discussions.

“In some cases, we’ve had reports that parents were harassed or were being treated like they were knowingly harming their children,” said Hooker on Tuesday.

He further defended the House Bills by saying that the disease outbreaks are loosely related to vaccination waivers. “One or two cases of measles is not an epidemic,” said Hooker. “If something like (an epidemic) were to happen, the health department would not be barred from closing a school or keeping kids from danger.”

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Kerri Adams

Kerri Adams

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