Committee kills bill aiming to lift school vaccination requirements

Published: Feb. 25, 2020 at 11:34 AM CST
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A bill to eliminate the vaccination requirement for students in South Dakota has been voted down in committee.

The House Health and Human Services Committee voted Tuesday morning 10-2 to send HB 1235 to the 41st legislative day, effectively killing the bill.

House Majority Leader Lee Qualm of Platte introduced the bill to remove the requirement for children to be vaccinated before attending South Dakota public or private schools and universities.

Dakota Radio Group reports several health and education officials spoke out against the bill, saying vaccinations make schools and communities safer. They pointed out how several dangerous diseases, including polio and smallpox, were eliminated by vaccinations.

Supporters of the bill argued required vaccinations violate medical freedom.

The state currently allows vaccination exemptions only for students who have weakened immune systems or who have religious objections.

Governor Kristi Noem previously came out against the bill, saying vaccines save lives.