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Introduced Version House Bill 2831 History

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hb2831 intr
H. B. 2831


          (By Delegates Ferns, Storch, Miley, Eldridge,

               Fragale, Moore, Diserio, Ferro, Cowles,

                        Ellington and Householder)

          [Introduced March 5, 2013; referred to the

          Committee on Health and Human Resources then the Judiciary.]



A BILL to amend and reenact §16-3-4 and §16-3-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to mandatory immunizations for school children; providing exemptions; application of informed consent; and composition and appointment of the Childhood Immunization Advisory Committee.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

     That §16-3-4 and §16-3-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 3. PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF COMMUNICABLE AND OTHER INFECTIOUS DISEASES.
§16-3-4. Compulsory immunization of school children; information disseminated; offenses; penalties.
               
Whenever (a) When a resident birth occurs, the state director of health Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health shall promptly provide parents of the newborn child with information on immunizations mandated by this state or required for admission to a public school in this state.
               (b) Except as provided in this subsection, all children entering school for the first time in this state shall must have been immunized against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough. Any person who cannot give satisfactory proof of having been immunized previously or a certificate from a reputable physician showing that an immunization for any or all diphtheria, polio, rubeola, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough is impossible or improper or sufficient reason why any or all immunizations should not be done, shall be immunized for diphtheria, polio, rubeola, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough prior to being admitted in any of the schools in the state. No child or person shall be admitted or received in any of the schools of the state until he or she has been immunized as hereinafter provided or produces a certificate from a reputable physician showing that an immunization for diphtheria, polio, rubeola, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough has been done or is impossible or improper or other sufficient reason why such immunizations have not been done. A child may be exempt from the requirements of this section as follows:
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(1) Medical exemption. -- A parent or guardian of a child entering a school in this state for the first time may request a medical exemption from a required vaccination. The request must be accompanied with a certificate signed by a physician who is duly registered and licensed to practice medicine in West Virginia or contiguous states that sets forth the basis of his or her medical opinion that immunization against diphtheria, polio, measles, mumps tetanus or whooping cough is medically impossible or improper, whether this exemption is permanent or temporary and to which vaccinations the child is to be exempt. Alternately, immunity against measles, mumps, rubella, polio, diphtheria or tetanus may be shown through laboratory testing results in lieu of vaccination.
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(2) General requirements for exemption. -- Within fifteen business days of submission of all required documents to the local health officer in the county where the child is to attend school, a confirmation of receipt by the local health officer shall be submitted to the Bureau for Public Health, to the school which the child is to attend and the parent.
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(3) The Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health may temporarily suspend an exemption permitted by this subsection during a health emergency. The exempted student may return to school when the health emergency has been resolved or abated as verified by the Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health.
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(c) Any teacher, A teacher, school nurse or other school employee having information concerning any a person who attempts to enter school for the first time without having been immunized against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough shall report the names of all such persons to the county health officer. It shall be is the duty of the health officer in counties having a full-time health officer to see that such persons are immunized before entering school. Provided, That Persons enrolling from schools outside of the state may be provisionally enrolled under minimum criteria established by the Director of the Department of Health Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health so that the person's immunization may be completed while missing a minimum amount of school: Provided, That no person shall be is allowed to enter school without at least one dose of each required vaccine.
               In counties where there is no full-time health officer or district health officer, the county commission or municipal council shall appoint competent physicians to do the immunizations and fix their compensation. County health departments shall furnish the biologicals for this immunization free of charge.
               (d) Health officers and physicians who shall do this perform the immunization work shall give to all persons and children a certificate free of charge showing that they have been immunized against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough or he or she may give the certificate to any a person or child whom he or she knows to have been immunized against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough. If any physician shall give any a physician provides a person a false certificate of immunization against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $100.
               Any parent or guardian who refuses to permit his or her child to be immunized against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough, who cannot give satisfactory proof that the child or person has been immunized against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough previously, or a certificate from a reputable physician showing that immunization for any or all is impossible or improper, or sufficient reason why any or all immunizations should not be done, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, except as herein otherwise provided, shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than ten nor more than $50 for each offense.
_______________(e) Health care providers who perform vaccinations in the State of West Virginia shall obey vaccine adverse event reporting requirements under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which mandate that health care providers report serious health problems following vaccination including hospitalizations, injuries and deaths, to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
_______________(f) The Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to implement the provisions of this section, addressing the issue of school transfers, reporting requirements for each county related to the exemptions and the membership of the immunization advisory committee as provided in section five of this article:
Provided, That any additions or deletions of required vaccinations or exemptions is the sole authority of the Legislature.
§16-3-5. Distribution of free vaccine preventives of disease.
                                            (a) Declaration of legislative findings and purpose. -- The Legislature finds and declares that early immunization for preventable diseases represents one of the most cost-effective means of disease prevention. The savings which can be realized from immunization, compared to the cost of health care necessary to treat the illness and lost productivity, are substantial. Immunization of children at an early age serves as a preventative measure both in time and money and is essential to maintain our children's health and well-being. The costs of childhood immunizations should not be allowed to preclude the benefits available from a comprehensive, medically supervised child immunization service. Furthermore, the federal government has established goals that require ninety percent of all children to be immunized by age two and provided funding to allow uninsured children to meet this goal. The Legislature further finds that the right to informed consent for a medical procedure which carries the risk of injury or death, no matter how slight, is a human right.
                                            (b) The state director of health Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health shall acquire vaccine for the prevention of polio, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis-b, haemophilus influenzae-b and other vaccine preventives of disease as may be deemed necessary or required by law and shall distribute the same, free of charge, in such quantities as he or she may deem deems necessary, to county and municipal health officers, to be used by them for the benefit of, and without expense to, the citizens within their respective jurisdictions, to check contagions and control epidemics.
                                            (c) The county and municipal health officers shall have the responsibility to properly store and distribute, free of charge, vaccines to private medical or osteopathic physicians within their jurisdictions to be utilized to check contagions and control epidemics. Provided, That The private medical or osteopathic physicians shall may not make a charge for the vaccine itself when administering it to a patient. The county and municipal health officers shall provide a receipt to the state director of health Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health for any vaccine delivered as herein provided.
                                            (d) The director of the division of health Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health is charged with establishing a childhood immunization advisory committee that is fairly balanced in terms of the points of view of its members and whose members do not have conflicts of interest with the vaccine manufacturer or who could financially gain directly or indirectly from vaccine mandates. The Childhood Immunization Advisory Committee is to plan for universal access, make recommendations on the distribution of vaccines acquired pursuant to this section and tracking of track immunization compliance in accordance with federal and state laws. The Childhood Immunization Advisory Committee shall be appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources no later than July 1, 1994, 2013 and shall be comprised of representatives from the following groups: Public health nursing, public health officers, primary health care providers, pediatricians, family practice physicians, health care administrators, state Medicaid program, the health insurance industry, the Public Employees Insurance Agency, the self-insured industry and consumers. A minimum of three consumers should be appointed by the State Director for the National Vaccine Information Center in addition to the consumers appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources. The state epidemiologist shall serve as an advisor to the committee. Members of the advisory committee shall serve two-year terms.
                                            (e) All health insurance policies and prepaid care policies issued in this state which provide coverage for the children of the insured shall provide coverage for child immunization services to include the cost of the vaccine, if incurred by the health care provider, and all costs of administration from birth through age sixteen years. These services shall be are exempt from any deductible, per-visit charge and/or copayment provisions which may be in force in these policies or contracts. This section does not exempt other health care services provided at the time of immunization from any deductible and/or copayment provisions.
                                            (f) Attending physicians, midwives, nurse practitioners, hospitals, birthing centers, clinics and other appropriate health care providers shall provide parents of newborns and preschool age children with information on the following immunizations: Diphtheria, polio, mumps, measles, rubella, tetanus, hepatitis-b, haemophilus influenzae-b and whooping cough. This information should include the availability of free immunization services for children.


                                            NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide exemptions for immunizations of public school age children; to make express that informed consent applies to mandatory vaccinations; to establish specific criteria for composition of the Childhood Immunization Advisory Committee and a deadline date for appointment to the committee.


                                            Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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