Vaccine opponents in the South celebrate vaccine exemption bills

Two vaccine exemption bills in Southern states are sparking conversation online. In West Virginia, HB 5105—which was passed by the House and Senate—would eliminate vaccine requirements in public virtual schools. In Oklahoma, HB 3249—which was passed by the House—would expand vaccine exemptions for daycare students. Vaccine opponents are celebrating these bills.


Online conversations about these bills provide an opportunity for public health officials to promote routine vaccinations for children in the South and explain why vaccines are so important. Messaging may emphasize that recommended vaccines are safe for children and protect them from serious, preventable illnesses. Lower vaccine coverage leads to vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks. In addition, ensuring that community partners have up to date information about pediatric vaccination is recommended. Directing media partners and local journalists to state-specific data from the CDC on vaccination coverage is also recommended.