JACKSON, Miss.–There will be no changes this year to the vaccination laws in Mississippi. A bill that would have allowed more exemptions for parents who want to send their children to school but don’t want them vaccinated died Thursday in the Mississippi House.
It was allowed to die because some believe the Miss. Dept. of Health is granting more medical exemptions, as allowed by current law, than they have before.
Several groups have called on legislators to allow for conscientious and religious exemptions, which has caused concern, especially after the measles outbreak that has happened since the beginning of the year.
Mississippi has no measles cases.
At the same time, the House passed other health care reform bills, including one that could help community hospitals with 50 beds or less “reinvent themselves”. The Rural Hospital Transition and Improvement Grant Program will give each hospital $500,000 for improvements. It will cost the state and its taxpayers about $10 million. The measure passed 116-0. The legislation now moves on to the Senate.
The Mississippi First Response Assistance, Safety and Training (FAST) programs were also passed by the House. The programs have three missions: education, clinical care and research. Oftentimes, medical care is needed at the scene of an accident or a crime. These programs will focus on training non-professional medical responders (those who do not hold certificates with the Department of Health) who are often first on the scene.
There will also be a ban on powdered alcohol, if the bill that bans it that was passed in the House makes it through the Senate.