EHB 1638

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Passed Senate - Amended, April 17, 2019

Title: An act relating to promoting immunity against vaccine preventable diseases.

Brief Description: Promoting immunity against vaccine preventable diseases.

Sponsors: Representatives Harris, Stonier, Robinson, Macri, Jinkins, Cody, Thai, Davis, Appleton, Doglio, Frame, Stanford, Bergquist, Santos and Tarleton.

Brief History: Passed House: 3/05/19, 57-40.

Committee Activity: Health & Long Term Care: 3/29/19, 4/01/19 [DPA, DNP].

Floor Activity:

Passed Senate - Amended: 4/17/19, 25-22.

Brief Summary of Bill

(As Amended by Senate)

  • Removes the philosophical or personal objection exemption for the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.

  • Allows proof of disease immunity through laboratory evidence or history of disease to substitute for immunization.

  • Requires employees and volunteers at child day care centers to receive the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, provide proof of immunity from the measles, or provide a certification that the vaccine is not medically advisable.


Majority Report: Do pass as amended.

Signed by Senators Cleveland, Chair; Randall, Vice Chair; Conway, Dhingra, Frockt, Keiser and Van De Wege.

Minority Report: Do not pass.

Signed by Senators O'Ban, Ranking Member; Bailey, Becker and Rivers.

Staff: Greg Attanasio (786-7410)

Background: A child is prohibited from attending a school or licensed day care center unless one of the following is presented prior to the child's first day: (1) proof of full immunization; (2) proof of the initiation and compliance with a schedule of immunization; or (3) a certificate of exemption. Full immunization includes vaccines for chickenpox, diphtheria, measles, German measles, haemophilus influenza type B disease, hepatitis B, mumps, pneumococcal disease, polio, tetanus, and whooping cough. The certificate of immunization status form published by the Department of Health allows laboratory evidence of immunity to substitute for the required immunization. The form also allows a verified history of chickenpox to substitute for the chickenpox vaccine.

For a child to be exempt from all or part of the immunization requirement, one of the following must be presented:

An exemption form must also include a statement signed by a health care practitioner stating they provided the signator with information about the benefits and risks of immunization, unless the parent or guardian demonstrates membership in a religious body or church in which the religious beliefs or teachings preclude a health care practitioner from providing medical treatment to the child.

Summary of Amended Bill: Immunization Requirements. Proof of disease immunity through documentation of laboratory evidence of antibody titer or a health care provider's attestation of a child's history of a disease sufficient to provide immunity against that disease constitutes proof of immunization for that specific disease.

Immunization Exemptions. A philosophical or personal objection may not be used to exempt a child from the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Child Day Care Centers. A child day care center may not allow on the premises an employee or volunteer who has not provided the day care center with immunization records indicating the person has received the MMR vaccine or proof of immunity from measles through documentation of antibody titer or a history of measles sufficient to provide immunity against the disease.

The child day care center may allow a person to be employed or volunteer on the premises for 30 days if the person signs a written attestation the person has received the MMR vaccine or is immune, but needs additional time to obtain the required documentation.

Additionally, the child day care center may allow a person to be employed or volunteer or the premises if the person provides the center with a written certification signed by a health care practitioner that the MMR vaccine is not advisable for the person.

The child day care center must maintain the required documentation of the immunizations or exemptions of its employees and volunteers in its personnel files.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony on Engrossed House Bill: The committee recommended a different version of the bill than what was heard. PRO: Low vaccination rates put immune compromised people at great risk. Due to the vaccination program, measles had been eliminated, but has resurfaced as vaccination rates dwindled. Public health dollars need to be diverted from other programs to fight preventable outbreaks. High vaccination rates help protect the most vulnerable children who cannot be vaccinated. Misinformation around vaccines is a huge public health concern.

CON: Vaccination rates are not dwindling and Clark County is not a hotspot for unvaccinated children. The outbreak has been contained and has only affected a small community. Removing the personal exemption would not have prevented this outbreak. The vaccination rate by sixth grade is very high. Eliminating the exemption will not increase rates of vaccination. The adult population has waning immunity to measles and there is no number of vaccinated children that can achieve herd immunity given the adult rates. Public health information is misleading the public about the risks of not being vaccinated. There is no need for a mandate. Removing healthy kids from school does not make immune compromised children any safer. Parents should not be forced to expose their children to risk.

Persons Testifying: PRO: John Wiesman, Secretary, Department of Health; Carey Morris, Early Learning Alliance; Marie DeBell, School Nurse; Temple Lentz, Clark County Council Member; Cydney Craft-Macomber, Mom; Alexis Nims, Washington State PTA. CON: Karen Rawlins, citizen; Chris Fraser, citizen; Leah Houser, citizen; Karl Kanthak, citizen; Eric Oemig, citizen; Dr. Jason Kinley, citizen; Jena Dalpez, citizen; Rebekah Kauzlarich, citizen; Ralph Havens, citizen; Amber Eleazar, citizen; Kayloni Bonner, citizen; Kimberly Cancelosi, citizen; Erik Dauner, citizen; Margaret Tweet, citizen.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: CON: Vadim Yuryev, citizen; Aleksandr Korchemnyy, 1960; Tatyana Korchemnyy, 1961; Kamariah Wilson, citizen; Andrey Tokarenko, citizen; Cheryl Rode, citizen; Daniel Thompson, citizen; Nina Marko, citizen; Liubov Domashchenko, citizen; Daniil Avdeyev, citizen; Andrey Koren, Septima Trucking LLC; Svetlana Koren, citizen; Yevgeniya Taranova, citizen; Yevgeniy Taranov, citizen; Tevgeniya Taranova, citizen; Bethany Schafer, citizen; John Fredrick, citizen; Yvonne Fredrick, citizen; Hailey Descoteaux, citizen; Laurie Frear, citizen; Phyllis Hess, citizen; Julie Graves-LaForge, citizen; Mike Artemov, citizen; British Brown, citizen; Susie Corgan, citizen; Jaclyn Gallion, citizen; Drella Stein, citizen; Bernadette Pajer, citizen; Bonita Ott, citizen; Erin Kranzler, citizen; Jena Dalpez, citizen; Jared Zeff, citizen; Erin Westaway, citizen; Kate Bauwer, citizen; Pami Garrett, citizen; Megan White, citizen; Yelena Melnik, citizen; Karla Deal, citizen; Yekaterina Negro, citizen; Lana Andriyenko, citizen; Stacy Cossey, citizen; Nicole Rode; Charvel Condon, citizen; Inna Kulik, citizen; Leah Smart, citizen; Yuriy Sergeyev, citizen; Irina Sipko, citizen; Mary Neagle, citizen; Vera Sergeyeva, citizen; Kristine Hubbs, Doctor; Rebecca Faust, citizen; Anna Nikulenko, citizen; Grant Keller, citizen; Robert Runnells, Risk Management Consultant; Mikkel Lee, citizen; Brienne Champneys, citizen; Joshua Champneys, citizen; Ryan Sweet, citizen; Nina Marko, citizen; Elly McCall, citizen; Philip Wilson, citizen; Lydia Babiy, citizen; Sarah Davis, citizen; Philip Wilson, citizen; Richard Carver, citizen; Miriah Sachs, citizen; Geoff Willson, citizen; Heather Konwent, citizen; Angela Weedon, citizen; Cynthia Choo, citizen; Misty Flowers, citizen; Brianne Johnson, citizen; Candace Ordonez, citizen; Jared Zeff, citizen; Naomi Gagnon, citizen; Katherine Holmes, citizen; Laurie Olson, Moms Across America, President of the Board; Janell Nunez, citizen; Elena Pshechenko, citizen; Megan Harrison, citizen; Lisa Kulik, citizen.