Washington House passes bill limiting vaccine exemptions

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington House has approved a measure that would remove parents’ ability to claim a personal or philosophical exemption to vaccinating their school-age children for measles.

The vote comes in the midst of an outbreak that has sickened 71 people — mostly children — in the state.

The chamber passed the bill on a 57-40 vote late Tuesday night and it now heads to the Senate, which is expected to vote in the coming days on its own bill, which is broader. While the House bill removes the philosophical exemption for just the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, the Senate measure seeks to remove such exemptions for any required school vaccinations.

It’s unclear which measure lawmakers will ultimately move forward with if the Senate passes its measure before next week’s deadline to get policy bills voted out of the chamber of origin.