Exceptions on some grounds
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2017) — A House committee today passed a bill that would require all college students to submit proof of immunization against measles, mumps, rubella and meningococcal disease before enrolling at Kentucky public or private colleges or universities with residential campuses starting this fall.
House Bill 147, sponsored by Rep. Addia Wuchner (R-Florence), House Health and Welfare Chair, and Rep. Danny Bentley (R-Russell) a pharmacist, passed the House Health and Welfare Committee and now goes to the House floor for consideration.
Dr. Patty Swiney, a Kentucky family physician and mother who testified in favor of the bill, said college students living in close quarters like dormitories are susceptible to communicable diseases which are “vaccine-preventable.” She said, “They live, eat and, we all hope, study in close quarters.”
Wuchner, a trained nurse, said HB 147 would exempt students who object to medical vaccination on religious grounds in a written sworn statement. It would also exempt students enrolled only in online or other distance-learning classes. Others, she explained, would have to receive what she called “catch-up” immunizations to protect themselves and those around them.