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Introduced Version Senate Bill 522 History

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Senate Bill No. 522

(By Senators Boley, Kessler (Acting President), Browning, Sypolt, Miller, Minard, Tucker, Barnes, Klempa, Yost, Edgell, Hall and Nohe)

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[Introduced February 16, 2011; referred to the Committee on Health and Human resources; and then to the Committee on Education.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §16-3-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to requiring parents who object to immunizations on the basis of their beliefs to provide a written statement to that effect in lieu of certificates showing proof of immunizations.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §16-3-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted 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 resident birth occurs, the State Director of 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.

    All children entering school for the first time in this state shall have been immunized against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough. Any person who cannot give satisfactory proof of having been immunized previously immunizations 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 provide 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 may be admitted or received in any of the schools a school 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 provide other sufficient reason why such immunizations have not been done. Any A teacher having information concerning any person who attempts to enter school for the first time without having been immunized immunizations against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, 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 so that the person's immunization may be completed while missing a minimum amount of school Provided, however, That except that no person shall may be allowed to enter school without at least one dose of each required vaccine.

    A parent or legal guardian who objects to immunizations because of religious, conscientious or philosophical beliefs, shall sign a form, duly notarized, stating that the child has not been immunized because of these beliefs. The form shall be prescribed by the West Virginia State Department of Education, presented upon entering school in lieu of proof of immunization and filed in the child’s permanent file.

    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 immunizations free of charge.

    Health officers and physicians who shall do this immunization perform this work shall give to all persons and children a certificate, free of charge, showing that they have been immunized against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough. or he or she may The health officers and physicians may also give the certificate to any person or child whom he or she knows to have been immunized against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough. If any physician shall give any person a physician provides a false certificate of immunization, against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough, he or she shall be he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than twenty-five $25 nor more than one hundred dollars. $100.

    Any A 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 is guilty of a misdemeanor and, except as herein otherwise provided, shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than $10 nor more than fifty dollars $50 for each offense.



    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require parents or guardians who object to immunizations on the basis of religious, philosophical or conscientious beliefs to write a statement to this effect in lieu of certificates showing proof of immunizations.


    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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