Two bills on vaccination stall at Arizona State Legislature

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- Two bills related to vaccinations appear to have stalled at the Arizona State Legislature, and may not see the light of day.

Under House Bill 2470 (also known as Senate Bill 1114), a student at any grade level through the 12th grade will be eligible for a religious exemption if he or she submits a signed statement to school administration, saying that the parent or guardian has received information about immunizations provided by the Department of Health Services, and understands the risks and benefits of immunization, as well as the potential risks of non-immunization.

Currently, state law allows for exemptions based on personal beliefs.

Another bill, House Bill 2471 (also known as Senate Bill 1115), health professionals who administer vaccine must provide information to the patient or a minor patient's parent or legal guardian about the benefits and risks of each vaccine, the vaccine's product insert, the CDC's vaccine excipient and media summary, and ways to report a vaccine-adverse event.

According to Oxford Dictionaries, an excipient is "an inactive substance that serves as the vehicle or medium for a drug or other active substance". According to the American Pharmaceutical Review, an excipient generally has no medicinal properties, but are crucial to drug delivery within the body.

State Sen. Paul Boyer (R) sponsored both of the bills.

"Anytime there is a risk, there shouldn't be a mandate. Parents should have the option. I trust parents to do what's best for their kids, and they should be informed. I don't think anyone should be afraid of information," said State Sen. Boyer. He represents District 20, which covers portions of North Phoenix.

The outlook for the two bills are bleak, as the chairperson of the Health Committee, Kate Brophy McGee, refused to even hear the bills in committee.

"She doesn't want to hear any bills on immunizations this year, either for or against, and she's decided not to hear them," said State Sen. Boyer.

"It's not good policy, and as chair, I can make the decision not to hear it," said State Sen. Kate Brophy McGee. She says the personal exemption that already exists has several thousand Arizona parents opting out of immunizing their children.

"In the event of an outbreak, over 5,000 Arizona kindergartens would be at risk for measles, and 7,066 Arizona children in grades K-12 were already exempt from every vaccine required," said State. Sen. Brophy McGee.

As for State Sen. Boyer, he says he will continue to push for the bills, which he says give parents the information they need to protect the kids.