Some Parents Raise Objections To Vaccine Exemption Form

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Vermont Health Department officials have rewritten rules designed to implement a new law on childhood immunizations, but some parents aren’t satisfied with how those changes are being made.

An earlier draft of the rules said when parents want to exempt their child from vaccinations they need to sign a form implying they agree with the Health Department’s assessment of the vaccines’ risks and benefits. Parents who have expressed skepticism about vaccines say that’s compelled speech, and that it violates the First Amendment.

Health Department officials tell lawmakers the rules had been rewritten to address those concerns. But Jennifer Stella of the Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice says school nurses haven’t been told about the rewrite. Deputy Health Commissioner Tracy Dolan says that should be happening soon.

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