HB 1235 could change state requirements for immunizations of children in school

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – House Bill 1235 says a school cannot require children entering public or non-public schools or early childhood programs to get their vaccines before enrolling.

Molly Satter, the Health Services Coordinator for the Sioux Falls School District, says the state currently requires a set of vaccinations at the kindergarten and sixth grade levels. There are only a couple exemptions to that law.

“Currently the South Dakota law allows a religious exemption and a medical exemption,” Molly Satter, the Health Services Coordinator for the Sioux Falls School District, said.

Satter says she was surprised to see this bill introduced to the House.

“Our goal is to always follow the guidance of the trusted health experts out there. When we look at the CDC, the state and the local health departments, American Academy of Pediatrics, they all point to the fact that research shows that immunizations are good for students to keep them healthy,” Satter said.

Some Sioux Falls parents have concerns about House Bill 1235 and what could happen if kids aren’t immunized.

“Kids pick up enough diseases the way it is at school. I mean, not diseases, but the flu and colds and pink eye and all that stuff now. Don’t do that and they’ll pick up some other things too,” Wayne Donahue, a Sioux Falls parent said.

“There is a widespread of diseases out there that I think is very important for our kids to be vaccinated from. I’m also a nurse so pneumonia, influenza, measles, mumps. I know we don’t see a whole lot of polio and stuff anymore, but I think it’s very important to get your kids immunized. Not only for them, but for the people around them,” Katie Mathern, a Sioux Falls parent said.

This bill, if passed, would make it a class one misdemeanor for any educational institution, medical provider or person to compel someone to receive immunizations. KELOLAND News reached out to the bill sponsor but have not heard back yet.

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