House advances bill permitting religious exemptions for student vaccinations

Charleston, WV (WOAY)- West Virginia would join 45 other states that allow religious exemptions from childhood vaccines required for school attendance under a bill that passed the House of Delegates. 

The religious exemption is included in a bill that would let private schools decide whether to implement vaccine mandates.  

The overall bill approved Monday now goes to the state Senate.

Some medical experts say the bill would weaken safeguards in vaccination policies.  

Republican Todd Kirby says the bill sends a message about existing guarantees of religious freedom.  

He says it would also give unvaccinated children the chance to have important social interactions in schools and day-care facilities. 

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