GOP-appointed regulatory council shoots down Arizona vaccination program after anti-vaxx parents complain
The six-member Arizona Regulatory Review Council, appointed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, has canceled plans for an online educational program dispelling myths about vaccinations due to complaints from parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids.
According to AzCentral, the pilot program — which has been successful in Oregon and Michigan — was squashed over protests received from approximately 120 people in a state with a population of over 7 million.
According to the report, members of the council — tasked with reviewing regulations to make sure they not adversely affect the public — questioned the state health department about the course after receiving the anti-vaxxer worries it might lead them to have to immunize their kids to protect other children.
In an email to two Health Department staff members on Aug. 14, Brenda Jones, immunization services manager at the Arizona Department of Health Services, wrote that there had been “a lot of political and anti-vaxx” feedback.
“I’m not sure why providing ‘information’ is seen as a negative thing,” replied state Rep. Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek, who spent the last three legislative sessions helping create the pilot program.
“Providing information doesn’t take away a parent’s choice to seek an exemption,” she complained. “This is a major concern. Vaccines have saved lives for generations. We all want to live in safe and healthy communities.”
The report adds that disappointed state health officials are seeking a different way to inform parents that childhood vaccines are far safer than the diseases they prevent.
You can read the whole report here.