Vaccinations are a hot topic among parents. This topic escalates quickly when parents start discussing which way is better and who is the better parent for choosing one way or the other. There are those who vaccinate, those who don't vaccinate for religious or personal reasons, and those who use an adjusted vaccinations schedule. The good news? Regardless of what your opinion is, under current Indiana laws, you get to choose the best way for your family. The bad news? The government is considering several bills, including House Bill 1359, concerning how you should vaccinate your child.
Here are the questions you need to be asking about proposed bill HB 1359 to educate you and your family:
What are the bills Indiana lawmakers are considering?
HB 1359 is a major policy shift away from parents and local schools, over to the Indiana Department of Health in Indianapolis.
HB 1359 gives the Indiana Department of Health new power over medical matters previously left up to parents and their local physician.
HB 1359 will push parents to vaccinate young pre-teen children for a sexually transmitted disease. Such sensitive decisions have been left up to parents and their local family physician.
HB 1359 seeks universal vaccination for a disease that is not easily communicable or carried as an airborne pathogen. This makes it very different from measles or mumps.
How does this affect my family?
Currently the parent is allowed to forgo certain vaccinations. They are allowed to make decisions which best suit their family. The new bills are considering the government getting involved in vaccinations which would be mandated by the state. The new bills includes sexually transmitted disease vaccinations. Right now current policies allow parents to make the decision. New policies would transfer the power to the state to mandate. This is concerning for many parents because of the controversy surrounding the side affects of these vaccinations-- specifically for HPV.
What can I do if I have concerns?
Educating yourself on the issue is the best way if you have concerns regarding this potential legislation. You need to research the bills, the vaccinations, and how specifically this could affect your family. If you have further concerns you can call or write your Representative in the Indiana House.
Getting educated about policy changes involving your children health is the best thing you can do for them. Each family must decide what the best route is to protect their children from diseases. Stay involved in what changes your state is considering making. The best way to stay informed is to visit https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills/ to find out about the House and Senate Bills in 2015.
A Positive Approach to Teen Health (P.A.T.H) is a 501(c)3 organization that reaches seven counties throughout Northwest Indiana. Since 1993, A Positive Approach to Teen Health has been working to empower teens to make healthy choices regarding drugs, sex, alcohol, and violence.