The debate about vaccine laws usually revolves around rules that require children to be vaccinated before entering school. But in fact, there are many other kinds of vaccine laws that help protect and educate communities, without requiring anyone to get a shot.
Four bills proposing such laws are set to come before the Texas Legislature this year. Two of them are simply about information: Better information for parents looking to make educated decisions about vaccination, and updated data-gathering about vaccination for human papilloma virus, which causes several types of cancer.
A third would enable teenagers to decide whether they want to avoid those cancers for themselves later in life, by choosing to get the HPV vaccine during adolescence. And a fourth is a simple wording change to more accurately reflect many exemptions from vaccination, by categorizing them as “non-medical.”
In this recent op-ed in the Houston Chronicle, state Rep. Sarah Davis, who is carrying all four bills, explains her proposals and her reasons for authoring legislation to bring about a healthier, better informed state, without taking away anyone’s right to choose.
Davis: Why the debate? Vaccines do work.
By Sarah Davis
Why are we arguing about vaccines? They are one of the medical marvels of the last century, ridding the world of devastating diseases like smallpox, eliminating the risk posed by six HPV-related cancers, and preventing grave consequences to infants born to mothers with rubella.
For those who lived during widespread outbreaks of polio or measles, there is no debate about the effectiveness of vaccines. But a new generation of vaccine deniers, having never experienced the horror of a world with such diseases, is leading a campaign of misinformation that can do great damage to our community health.
Read the full op-ed here.
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