Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (both D-CA) today announced new legislation – titled “A Head Start on Vaccinations Act” – that would protect children in Head Start programs from preventable diseases by requiring that all children in Head Start programs nationwide be fully vaccinated unless they have been exempted for medical reasons. The legislation will be introduced next week.
“More than a million of our children attend Head Start programs all over the country, and we must protect every single one of these kids from preventable diseases like measles,” Senator Boxer said. “This simple bill is an important step toward strengthening our vaccination policies at all levels of government to prevent the spread of deadly diseases.”
“It was the genius of American scientists that developed vaccines to eradicate polio and many other diseases,” said Congresswoman Eshoo. “This bill is a ‘booster shot’ for our nation’s vaccine policies and will mitigate the spread of deadly disease.”
The new legislation would require all children who enroll in Head Start and Early Head Start programs nationwide to be fully vaccinated. Under the bill, parents of currently enrolled children in Head Start programs would be given 3 months to ensure that vaccines are up to date according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended schedule.
Parents could receive a medical exemption only if a certified health care provider determines that their child has an underlying medical condition that would prevent them from being vaccinated, such as an autoimmune deficiency, chemotherapy treatment or a recent transplant.
Under the bill, Head Start programs would assist families in accessing the services they need in order to get their children fully vaccinated.
See the press release HERE
Please call Sen. Boxer and Rep. Eshoo and let them know that you oppose this bill and believe they should reconsider it.
Their office numbers in Washington, DC are below:
Sen. Barbara Boxer, Telephone: (202) 224-3553, Fax: (202) 224-0454
Rep. Anna Eshoo, Telephone: (202) 225-8104, Fax: (202) 225-8890