Vote to end personal exemptions for measles vaccinations passes State House

The Washington State House voted 57-40 to end personal exemptions to the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

The bill, passed about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, now moves to the State Senate.

This comes as the state has spent more than a million dollars to combat a measles outbreak with 71 confirmed cases statewide. It’s also weeks after parents fearful of vaccines descended on the state capitol in protest.

The bill would still allow exemptions for medical or religious reasons.

The House bill differs from one in the State Senate, which would ban personal exemptions for all childhood vaccines, not just the one for measles, mumps and rubella.

Most of the 71 people with measles cases are children less than age 10 who were not vaccinated.

Public Health Officer Dr. Alan Melnick of Clark County, where multiple cases were reported, said 21 days without a new case must pass before the outbreak could be considered over.

Multnomah County which is home to Portland, Oregon, also has identified four people with measles and one who could have measles. One man in King County, which is home to Seattle, also had measles.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report. 

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