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Gov. Inslee signs PeaceHealth-supported measles vaccination legislation

May 10, 2019

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law legislation that eliminates personal and philosophical exemptions from measles, mumps and rubella vaccination requirements for school-age children.

Inslee signed the PeaceHealth-supported House Bill 1638 during a public event at Vancouver City Hall attended by nurses, physicians, healthcare leaders and state legislators. It’s a major step to improve immunization rates and promote immunity against vaccine-preventable diseases.

“In Washington State, we believe in our doctors, we believe in our nurses, we believe in our educators, we believe in science and we love our children,” Inslee said. “That is why, in Washington State, we are against measles.”

In attendance were physicians and caregivers from PeaceHealth and other local healthcare systems, who were instrumental in supporting the community during the recent measles outbreak in Clark County, which was noted as the worst in Washington State in more than two decades.  

“They were key in not only addressing the measles outbreak, but also in making this bill happen,” said Alan Melnick, MD, Clark County Public Health director.

Gov. Inslee declared a state of emergency in January for the outbreak that lasted nearly four months and included 71 confirmed cases of measles in people ranging in age from 1 to 59. Clark County Public Health identified the end of the outbreak on April 29, following six consecutive weeks with no new cases.

 “We need a national public health campaign about this issue, to make sure people across America get access to real science based on real data, rather than fear,” Inslee said. “It is science and truth that will keep us healthy, rather than fear.”

Watch a video of the signing event.

Read more facts about measles prevention on PeaceHealth’s website.

PeaceHealth providers, caregivers and leaders are pictured with Gov. Jay Inslee, following the signing of House Bill 1638