North Texas lawmaker to pursue limits on vaccine exemptions

A state lawmaker is renewing his push for limits on vaccination exemptions after a recent case of measles in Plano ISD.

According to a PISD health advisory, there was one confirmed case of measles at Schell Elementary and anyone at the campus on Jan. 5 could have been exposed.

Experts say patients are contagious four days before and after the onset of a rash. Symptoms also include fever of 101 degrees, a cough, runny nose or red eyes.

State Representative Jason Villalba submitted a bill last legislative session to require vaccination of all children in public schools, except for medical or religious reasons. But it failed, along with other vaccine related bills.

“We're seeing an increase in the number of non-vaccinated children in our public schools,” Villalba said. “We have a ticking time bomb.”

Villalba said he would try to get the bill passed again in next year’s legislative session.

Anti/immunization group Texans for Vaccine Choice criticized the move, saying there’s “no justification for removing a parent's right to determine what medical procedures their child undergoes."

It added that his bill and others like it failed to gain much traction in the legislature.

"Texans are not prepared to give up liberties for a false sense of security. Fear should not override basic rights," the group said.

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