This week Sen. Mark Steffen advocated for legislation prohibiting the state health secretary from requiring new immunizations for children to attend school or day care. Under current law, students are required to receive certain immunizations before they attend school. The secretary for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) can amend the list should the need arise.
“Pediatricians and school nurses defended the decision-making process for the required vaccination list. Like proponents, they worried about politicization of the issue but instead thought the bill would only further intensify the politicization.
Shelby Ostrom, program director for the Mid America Immunization Coalition, which provides advocacy on the benefits of vaccines, said continued oversight by KDHE separate from the legislative process was vital in maintaining and improving public health in Kansas.
‘There is a rigorous process already in place, grounded in science, which best serves Kansans,’ Ostrom said. ‘This is a process that has and should continue to be separate from the political arena.’”
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