KDP calls on Republicans to condemn, reject anti-vaccination legislation

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 11:53 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Democratic Party is calling on Kansas Republicans to condemn and reject anti-vaccination legislation proposed in the Senate.

The Kansas Democratic Party says it is calling on Republican Leadership in the Kansas Legislature to condemn an anti-vaccination bill promoted by Senator Mark Steffen (R-Hutchinson), who has previously made false claims about COVID-19. It said in response to SB212, Chairwoman Vicki Hiatt said enough is enough.

“Enough is enough. Republican leadership has already spent months undermining Governor Kelly’s ability to respond to COVID-19,” said Hiatt. “Now, after getting their own vaccines, they’re actively discouraging Kansans from doing the same. If Republicans continue to push this legislation, they risk our health and jeopardize our return to normal life. SB212 proves that Kansans can’t trust Republicans on anything when it comes to COVID-19.”

KDP said the legislation would limit future requirements that schools could impose regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Education have not yet decided when guidelines for the vaccination of children could be released.

Currently, the state has vaccine requirements for schools and daycares in Kansas and the KDHE Secretary has the power to add new immunizations to those requirements. But, the new legislation proposes those powers be removed. The legislation would keep current vaccination requirements like Hepatitis A but would limit the ability to add vaccinations to that list, including the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Why in the world would we allow (KDHE Secretary) Lee Norman to mandate anything?” Steffen said.

However, the State has a religious exemption that allows parents to opt-out of having to vaccinate children for school. It also has an exemption that allows children to not be vaccinated against diseases on the requirement list if a doctor certifies that the shot would endanger a child’s life.

Steffen said the purpose of the legislation is to take powers back and give parents more freedom regarding the vaccination of their children.

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