BOSTON (WWLP) – A new bill on Beacon Hill would help the state collect data around youth vaccines.
Massachusetts schools are lacking critical information that could keep kids safe and state senator Becca Rausch is hoping to change that. Senator Rausch has filed a bill called the “Community Immunity Act.” If passed this session the bill would help schools gather data about which vaccines that students have, and which ones they are missing.
“We don’t actually know what’s happening in 20 percent of the programs that support youth, we don’t know if those kids are vaccinated, we don’t know if those kids are unvaccinated, we don’t actually know how many children might be using a religious exemption because our data set is incomplete,” Senator Rausch said.
Senator Rausch’s bill has received a lot of backlash from residents who worry that it’s a vaccine mandate. Senator Rausch told 22News that the community immunity act would not do that, it simply gathers data around vaccination rates, and informs parents when their children are missing vaccines.
Another thing that the community immunity act would not do is remove the religious exemption. So, if a student is missing a vaccine, parents can still request a religious exemption form. The bill would simply compile all of that data.