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The WVAAP and Partners continue to advocate for children's helath and safety by maintining strong immunization laws by OPPOSING SB 537 which would weaken the laws already in place.

Here is an update on what happening now in Charleston: SB 537 - Allowing exemptions from mandated immunizations, passed the Senate Education Committee 3/23/17 by a vote of 7 to 6. The bill now goes to the Senate Health Committee. We need to act immediately to stop this bill. Please contact the Senate President and all of the members of the Senate Health Committee and ask them to oppose this bill.

SB 537, if passed, will:

  • Remove the review process for medical exemptions to school immunization requirements, subsequently removing the State Immunization Officer from that section of code;
  • Allow religious exemptions to school immunization requirements;
  • Allow religious exemptions to immunization requirements for students of colleges, universities, or vocational technical schools (including health sciences students); and
  • Allow religious exemptions for employees whose employers (such as hospitals, healthcare facilities and correctional facilities) require vaccinations.  

Call to Action: Please contact the Senate President and all of the members of the Senate Health Committee immediately and ask them to oppose SB 537. The office phone numbers and email addresses for each Senator on that committee are available below. Even if you have already contacted them, please do so again.

Name

District

Email

Phone

Tom Takubo - Chair

17

[email protected]

(304) 357-7990

Mike Maroney - Vice Chair

2

[email protected]

(304) 357-7902

Mike Azinger

3

[email protected]

(304) 357-7970

Charles H. Clements

2

[email protected]

(304) 357-7827

Robert L. Karnes

11

[email protected]

(304) 357-7906

Corey Palumbo

17

[email protected]

(304) 357-7854

Robert H. Plymale

5

[email protected]

(304) 357-7937

Roman Prezioso

13

[email protected]

(304) 357-7961

Patricia Rucker

16

[email protected]

(304) 357-7957

Ron Stollings

7

[email protected]

(304) 357-7939

Charles S. Trump IV

15

[email protected]

(304) 357-7980

John R. Unger II

16

[email protected]

(304) 357-7933

Ryan Weld

1

[email protected]

(304) 357-7984

Mitch Carmichael - Senate President

4

[email protected]

(304) 357-7801

 

When you call the Senators, you can be brief and just leave a voicemail or a message along the lines of:

“Hello, my name is ____. I am calling to register my opposition to SB 537, which would compromise the health and safety of our students and communities.” If you are a parent, please tell them, as they want to hear from parents and families as well as healthcare providers and if you are a constituent of the legislator, please include this information in your message as well.

If you are emailing them, you can personalize the following text: 

“Dear Honorable Senator (insert legislator’s last name),

I am emailing to register my opposition to Senate Bills 537, which will weaken West Virginia’s strong school and higher education immunization requirements and any vaccine requirement that healthcare facilities and other organizations may require of their employees in order to protect their staff and patients. West Virginia’s immunization requirements have played a vital role in protecting our children and keeping outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases out of our schools and communities.

If this bill passes, it will be easier for someone to get a nonmedical exemption to an immunization requirement than it will be to get vaccinated. These exemptions of convenience have led to reductions in vaccination rates and, subsequently, outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in other states. We DO NOT wish this for our state.

Our current immunization requirements are working and they are effective at preventing outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in West Virginia. As a (insert parent/healthcare provider/teacher, etc.) I ask you to continue to protect the health and safety of our communities by voting NO on SB 537, which will weaken our school, higher education, and employer immunization requirements.

Sincerely,

Your Name

Please share this communication and call to action with any colleagues, family members and friends who are interested in voicing their opposition to SB 537.

 

830 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 104
Charleston, WV 25302
(304) 293-7036

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