Schwank to introduce bill to address school vaccinations

News conference set for Friday at Reading Hospital

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania state Sen. Judy Schwank said she is prepared to put forward legislation to address school vaccinations.

The Berks County Democrat announced Wednesday that she will introduce a bill to require completion of a standardized form for requesting exemptions from vaccination requirements for school-age children and require a consultation with a physician before any exemptions are approved.

"I believe this legislation can enhance health safety while also maintaining our respect for religious beliefs and moral convictions by making sure parents receive accurate medical information before granting exemptions," Schwank said.

Schwank plans to introduce the measure during a news conference at Reading Hospital on Friday. She will be joined by a number of health experts, including Dr. Debra Powell, the chief of infectious disease at Reading Hospital; Dr. Mary Stock Keister, the president of the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians, and Dr. Eve Kimball, a board member of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Pennsylvania chapter.

Child vaccinations have become a hot topic in recent months as an outbreak of measles has spread across the country.

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