Washington lawmakers seek to limit vaccine exemptions amid measles outbreak

Washington lawmakers are reviewing a bill that would make it harder for parents to achieve personal or philosophical exemptions for the mumps, measles and rubella vaccine in children, reports WBUR.

The legislative action comes as Washington battles a severe measles outbreak. As of Feb. 14, the Washington State Department of Health has confirmed 54 measles cases. Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency over the outbreak Jan. 25.

The bill would no longer allow residents to claim personal vaccine exemptions, which is the No. 1 exemption used by kids in schools, according to state Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver. Medical and religious exemptions would still be permitted.

"If individuals had been vaccinated, we wouldn't be facing what we're facing today," Mr. Harris told WBUR.

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