CONTACT: Lisa Subeck, 608-266-7521(office)
MADISON – Today, Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) pledged support for Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz’s (D-Oshkosh) proposal to eliminate the personal conviction exemption for immunizations. The proposal was unveiled during World Immunization Week (April 24-30), a week to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Wisconsin has one of the broadest exemption criterion in the nation for vaccinations, and is one of the few states that allows for opting out of immunizations for medical, religious, and personal reasons. The personal conviction clause is the only exemption addressed in this legislation.
“With recent measles outbreaks in the headlines, World Immunization Week is an opportunity to emphasize the importance of vaccines,”said Rep. Subeck, a member of the Assembly Health Committee. “Herd immunity protects everyone, especially infants, the elderly, and others who are medically unable to receive vaccines, and the personal conviction exemption places the overall public health of our communities at risk.”
Herd immunity requires a 90-95% vaccination rate to prevent outbreaks from occurring. Over the past 20 years, Wisconsin has jumped from a 1% to a 5.3% opt out rate, which is more than double the national average of 2.2%. Additionally, the country as a whole has seen 704 individual cases of measles confirmed in 2019, nineteen years after the CDC had declared measles to be eliminated.
“The fact of the matter is, vaccines work,” said Rep. Subeck. “Vaccines save lives, protect our children, and keep us healthy. I stand with parents, health workers, and community members who help ensure we are all protected against disease.”