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Joint public health hearing discusses vaccine exemptions in schools

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By Amanda Callahan

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    SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts (WGGB, WSHM-LD) — Tense moments in a public health committee hearing Monday night.

Over 400 people signed up to testify on a number of vaccine-centric bills making their way through the State House.

A bill filed by State Senator Rebecca Rausch would require students to be vaccinated unless they have a medical or approved religious exemption.

While Representative Andy Vargas’s bill would remove the religious exemption altogether, hundreds came out to share their opinions both for and against these bills.

“Last time I checked we still had a separation of church and state. These bills promote government tyranny more than they serve our public health.”

“I’m speaking as one of those responsible for the health and safety of young lives. Various childhood viruses are a real threat to the Commonwealth, but they’re easy to prevent.”

Now keep in mind, these bills were filed before the pandemic and are focused on reducing the spread of measles and polio.

Right now, the COVID-19 vaccine is not on the list of required vaccinations for school children.

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