In 2019, the Washington State Legislature passed a bill that removes the personal and philosophical option to exempt children from the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine required for school and child care entry. It also requires employees and volunteers at child care centers to provide immunization records indicating they have received the MMR vaccine or proof of immunity. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on May 10, 2019.
To help answer questions and share the current status, DOH has created an exemption law change webpage at www.doh.wa.gov/MMRexemption. This page contains information and resources on school and child care immunization requirement changes and provides specific information for health care practitioners. The page is being updated as more information becomes available.
As of May 30, 2019, the CDC reported there are 971 cases of measles in the United States, the greatest number since 1992. The recent measles outbreaks in Washington and the ongoing outbreaks across the United States demonstrate why the change to the vaccine exemption law will help keep Washington healthy and safe from three serious diseases. As the new law comes into effect, DOH will continue work in helping parents and the public understand the safety record of vaccines and the critical role they have in saving lives.
WCAAP will be providing you with additional resources before July 1 so you are well-prepared to serve patients and families. Please look out for future emails about resources and education.
From the Immunization Action Coalition and WithinReach:
Dear Healthcare Provider Partners,
We have learned that the so-called “PEACH magazine” which was used to spread misinformation about vaccines and vaccination to the Orthodox Jewish community in New York, is now being circulated in Washington. Here are a few materials you can use if you run into myths from this book, or if you want to proactively provide accurate information to your patients.
Slice of PIE
New York City has a helpful resource posted on their website that was recently developed specifically to counter misinformation that is being spread in NY and NYC about measles and MMR. The booklet is also currently being update with more generalizable information. https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/a-slice-of-pie.
- A news article shows how nurses in New York are using this new “Slice of PIE” resource.
- And another news article explains the original PEACH magazine.
The CDC and DOH know you are the most trusted source of information when patients have questions or concerns about vaccines and the diseases they prevent, like measles. To help support you in your difficult jobs, CDC has developed a one-stop-shop digital toolkit with products for you and your patients about vaccines and measles. These products include accurate, science-based evidence to help you counter misinformation about measles and MMR vaccine.
The digital toolkit for healthcare providers includes the following:
- Resources to support an effective vaccine conversation with parents
- Resources about measles and vaccines for providers to share with parents and display in their office-settings
For up-to-date answers to your patients’ frequently asked questions about measles, visit CDC’s Measles FAQ webpage.