Former lawmakers rip immunization guidelines

Three former legislators criticized state immunization guidelines during a public hearing Friday, Nathan Brown of the Idaho Falls Post Register reported.

The comments came during a Department of Health and Welfare public hearing in Idaho Falls, the second stop in a statewide series of hearings.

So far, the hearings and public comments have centered on immunizations.

The state recommends a battery of immunizations, but parents can opt out simply by submitting a written note to their child’s school. Idaho has one of the highest opt-out rates in the nation. A bill to require schools to inform parents of their opt-out rights and the state’s immunization guidelines passed the House this year, but did not get a Senate hearing.

“Parents shouldn’t have to know magically that they have the right to exemption when the schools are telling parents that they have to provide immunization records,” said former state Rep. Ron Nate, a Rexburg Republican, according to Brown’s report.

Former Reps. Karey Hanks, R-St. Anthony, and JoAn Wood, R-Rigby, also testified against immunizations, Brown reported.

The Health and Welfare hearings will continue through Wednesday; click here for details on the schedule.

Ultimately, it will be up to the 2020 Legislature to decide whether to keep the current immunization guidelines in place.



Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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