Bill to eliminate vaccination requirement defeated

PIERRE, S.D. (KJJQ) – A bill to eliminate the vaccination requirement for students has been voted down in committee. House Health and Human Services killed the measure on a 10-2 vote.

House Majority Leader, Lee Qualm introduced HB 1235 to remove the requirement for children to be vaccinated before attending South Dakota public or private schools and universities. The state currently allows vaccination exemptions only for students who have weakened immune systems or who have religious objections.

Testifying on behalf of the bill, Maya Olson, who says she lives in District Two.

Among those speaking against the bill, South Dakota’s Secretary of Health, Kim Malsom-Rysdon.

Several people testified that vaccines have nearly eliminated, or made far more rare, many deadly diseases including polio, smallpox, diphtheria, measles and others.

Wade Pogany represents the Associated School Boards of South Dakota. He spoke against the measure.

Today’s hearing went nearly three hours.

Governor Kristi Noem also came out against the bill. She says vaccines save lives.