On January 28, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released new remarkable data showing that immunization waiver rates among school-age children plummeted by more than 39% statewide in 2015, with nearly 8,000 fewer waivers submitted than the previous year.
This is attributed to a state reform that took effect in January 2015 requiring parents seeking a non-medical immunization waiver to get the waiver signed at their local health department after meeting with staff to learn about the importance of immunizations for their child, their family, and their community.
Unfortunately, state legislation was introduced in December that calls for a repeal of the successful waiver rule. MAFP opposes House Bills 5126 and 5127, which currently reside in the House Health Policy Committee where Chair Mike Callton has stated his interest in holding a hearing and calling for committee action. MAFP joined with its partners in the Parent Information Network in sending a letter to Governor Snyder this week encouraging him to oppose HB 5126 and HB 5127 5127.
The Parent Information Network—comprised of organizations representing healthcare professionals working to better educate parents about the importance of childhood immunizations—also held four news conferences on January 28 to highlight MDHHS' new data and underscore the importance of immunizations. Mary P. Sharp, MD; James Applegate, MD, FAAFP; and Karen B. Mitchell, MD, DABFM, FAAFP represented MAFP on your behalf at news conferences in Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Southfield, respectively. Click here to watch a video of the Lansing news conference and here to watch a video of the Grand Rapids news conference. Click here for news coverage of the Southfield news conference.