PHOENIX, State Capitol – Gov. Doug Ducey's promise to veto any anti-vaccination bill that reaches his desk is a strong stand for public health, Rep. Kelli Butler said today. Butler, ranking Democratic member on the House Health and Human Services committee, thanked Gov. Ducey for his opposition to a trio of House bills that could greatly increase the number of unvaccinated Arizonans and lead to a public health crisis.
"It’s a relief to see Governor Ducey’s support of proven public health policy in his commitment to veto these dangerous bills," said Butler, D-Phoenix. "As many states are currently dealing with crisis-level disease outbreaks, it is important that Arizona send a strong message that vaccines are safe, effective and save lives. Health experts warn that many areas of our state are already below safe levels of immunization, and these harmful bills would have made this very serious public health problem even worse."
Ducey was quoted this week saying he is "pro-vaccination and anti-measles," referring to a trio of bills sponsored by Republican Health and Human Services Chairwoman Nancy Barto that she forced through her committee last week. Butler and other Democrats on the committee argued the bills would put Arizona residents, especially school-age children, at risk of contracting and spreading previously eradicated diseases, such as measles, polio, and smallpox.
House Bill 2470 would add a religious exemption from vaccinations on top of the existing personal exemption.
House Bill 2471 would require doctors to give an inches-thick packet on each vaccination's research and ingredients. During committee, an infectious disease researcher testified that even she has a hard time understanding the information packet, let alone parents.
House Bill 2472 would outline notifications and potential exemptions that health care professionals must provide to patients who are receiving immunizations.