Immunization debate hits Virginia

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Over the last two years, medical experts have seen several outbreaks of long dormant diseases; such as Mumps and Measles. Now a vaccination battle is brewing in the Virginia state house.

Five delegates proposed removing religious and medical exemptions for school immunizations. But local parents say they won’t stop fighting for their right to not vaccinate.

On a playground in Virginia Beach, Angel Jones spends time with her son Raylen. It’s a moment she said, more than a year ago, she thought wouldn’t happen. She said four months after he was born she took him to get his first vaccinations.

“Within 24 hours he was suffering from a fever from febrile seizures,” Jones said. “It is one of the side effects that are listed.”

Jones said from then on she delayed his inoculations.

“He may be a candidate for medical exemption for vaccinations,” she said.

There’s a different thinking in Richmond. This month delegates brought a bill forward that would remove some of those exemptions.

“We’ve all seen what’s happened around the country,” Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, Democrat for the 41st said.

“I think it was the centers for Disease control and prevention said that the first five months of 2014 saw the highest confirmed cases of measles in those same five months in 20 years.”

Angel Jones feels it takes control from parents.

“I mean just saying that you know religiously you cannot make a choice for your child as a parent, in my mind the first thing I thought was that’s unconstitutional,” Jones said.

Thursday, parents like Angel Jones took their concerns to the state house where legislators decided it needs more.

“I asked to strike the bill as long as it could be sent to the joint commission on health care to be discussed and studied further,” Filler-Corn said.

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