MADISON – Today, Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) introduced a legislative webpage as a resource related to Assembly Bill 248, which would eliminate the personal conviction waiver from Wisconsin’s vaccination requirement. The website includes information on immunization rates in Wisconsin from the Department of Health Services (DHS) and nationally from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It also provides links to the latest news on vaccines around the state and nation, as well as a section on frequently asked questions about vaccines. Representative Hintz released the following statement on this new resource for the people of Wisconsin:
“We need to do all we can to avoid a completely unnecessary outbreak in our state. Vaccinations are a public health issue and not just parental right,” Rep. Hintz stated. “It is in the public’s best interest to have research-based, accurate information readily available. I want my constituents, and everyone in Wisconsin, to understand the important role vaccinations play in keeping our communities healthy and safe from previously eradicated diseases like measles. This website is intended to serve as a one-stop-shop to access this important information.”
“As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, we need to encourage a better understanding of vaccinations in order to protect public health. Last month, I re-introduced legislation to eliminate the personal conviction waiver in Wisconsin. Proactive steps like eliminating this exemption, and creating more public awareness about ways to stop the spread of infectious disease are aimed at keeping our children healthy.”
Currently, Wisconsin is one of the few states that allows waivers for opting out of vaccinations to medical, religious, and personal reasons. Figures from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services show that during the 1997-1998 school year, only 1.6% of Wisconsin students had a vaccination exemption waiver on file. Of the exemptions, 90% of parents opting out of vaccinating their children utilize the personal conviction waiver, contributing to most of the growth over the past 20 years. Today the number of vaccination exemptions for Wisconsin students has increased to 5.3% for the 2018-2019 school year.