A bill repealing immunization requirements in schools was soundly defeated.
ASBSD opposed the bill.
“Schools are a safe place for kids,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany testified. “Everyone in your (public) school has been immunized. House Bill 1235 makes schools unsafe. This will harm children.”
Avera Medical Group Pediatrician Dr. Marty Allison added to the potential for increased harm, noting “there is a social component” to integrating non-vaccinated individuals into schools.
“When you make the decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate it’s a different medical decision because your personal decision is affecting the people around you,” Dr. Allison said, adding that “because of vaccines” the public doesn’t “see a lot of circulating disease.”
Rep. Lee Qualm, the bill’s prime sponsor, called it “unfortunate” that the legislation was being labeled as an anti-vaccination bill. Instead, he called it a “medical freedom bill” and individuals were not necessarily being given “the opportunity to say no” to vaccines.
Rep. Skyler Borglum noted that “we still give people the choice” to vaccinate.
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