W.Va. senators strip religious exemption from vaccine bill

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia senators are stripping language from a bill that would have allowed children religious exemptions from vaccinations.

On Tuesday, a Senate panel took up the rewrite of a law dealing with school vaccinations.

Currently, only West Virginia and Mississippi don't allow for either religious or personal belief exemptions, according to the Immunization Action Coalition. Both states allow for medical exemptions.

A bill by Republican Sen. Ryan Ferns would have changed that. Parents would have been able to sign affidavits saying certain vaccinations for their children were against religious beliefs.

The provision was removed Tuesday.

Before the bill was changed, Republican Sens. Mark Maynard, Chris Walters and Mike Hall requested to be removed as bill sponsors.

The proposal still hasn't received a committee vote in the House or Senate.

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