Senate panel OKs 12th-grade meningococcal vaccine

Barring the unexpected, Idaho will add a 12th-grade meningococcal vaccine to its list of immunization guidelines.

A rule endorsing the meningitis vaccine barely cleared the Senate Health and Welfare Committee Thursday, on a 5-4 vote.

It was an emotional hearing, as Nathan Brown of the Idaho Falls Post Register reported. After the vote, one woman in the audience vowed to vote the senators out. “Now we know you’re for tyranny. You’re not for the Constitution. You’re not for protecting the people. Thank you for bringing California to Idaho.”

Thursday’s action mirrors a previous 7-6 House Health and Welfare Committee vote to endorse the rule.

The rule is now almost certain to go on the books.

The House and Senate would both have to pass a resolution rejecting the rule, Brown reported, but this is unlikely. Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird, has written an anti-immunization measure, but this is a legislative longshot. She bypassed the normal committee process and wrote a personal bill, but these types of measures seldom pass.

But even if this rule goes into effect, parents can opt their children out of any immunization. Idaho’s opt-out rates are among the highest in the nation.


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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