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Lawmaker wants vaccination stats on school websites

Rep. Bridge Kosierowski, D-Tucker, is pictured taking her oath of office recently in Harrisburg.

School districts may be required to publish the number of vaccinated and non-vaccinated students in school at least once a year.

Rep. Bridget Kosierowski, D-Taylor, has introduced House Bill 182 in the state House of Representatives. The bill has been referred to the House Education Committee.

The New York state Health Department regularly compiles a percentage of students in New York school districts who have received their required vaccinations. Kosierowski’s bill would place that duty on local school districts rather than on a health department.

“Informed consent is the foundation of healthcare and, as parents, we all have the right to be fully educated on the environments to which our children are exposed on a daily basis,” she wrote in her legislative memorandum. “Our children spend a large portion of their lives within the four walls of our schools and ensuring their safety during that time should be a commonsense effort.”

Pennsylvania children must receive four doses of tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis vaccine, four doses of polio vaccine, two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, three doses of hepatitis B and two doses of a chicken pox vaccine or show evidence of immunity to chicken pox in order to start school. Seventh grade students are required to receive one dose of tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap) on the first day of seventh grade and one dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) on the first day of seventh grade. High school seniors receive one dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) on the first day of 12th grade. If one dose was given at 16 years of age or older, that shall count as the 12th grade dose.

“It is crucial that parents are able to make an informed decision with their child’s health and wellness in mind as they step foot in school every day,” Kosierowski said. “For children who may be battling autoimmune disorders or fighting childhood cancer, vaccines can be harmful to their already fragile health. Exposure to preventable diseases can lead to a tragic and too-soon death or hospitalization for these children who are enduring so much already. Having the resources and knowledge to make the best decision for one’s child is a right that should be encouraged.”

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