Six vaccine-related bills are all defeated in the ND House

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N.D. Legislature (file photo)

The North Dakota House Thursday killed six bills in quick succession dealing with vaccination requirements in the state. The common thread in all the bills was providing exemptions for mandated vaccinations and ensuring there would be no retaliation against those refusing vaccinations.

Each bill received a “Do Not Pass” recommendation from the House Human Services Committee before the vote on the floor.

Here are summaries of the six bills and the vote outcomes in Thursday’s legislative action:

House Bill 1320. This would strengthen sections of the North Dakota Century Code related to immunization recordkeeping and data sharing among health professionals in the state. The key portion of the bill would also prevent state and local governments and elected officials from mandating vaccinations. The House Human Services Committee voted 13 to 1 to give the bill a “Do Not Pass” recommendation, and the full House Thursday defeated the bill on an 8 to 84 floor vote.

House Bill 1306. This legislation proposed a study to see if there was a relationship between sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and autism spectrum disorder, and vaccines. There has been a persistent belief among some that vaccines are a cause of SIDS and autism. However, the Centers for Disease Control cites numerous studies indicating vaccines are not linked to or cause either outcome. The House Human Services Committee voted 14 to 0 to give the bill a “Do Not Pass” recommendation, and the full House Thursday defeated the bill on an 11 to 82 floor vote.

House Bill 1377. This would have allowed people to be exempt from any immunization requirement if the vaccine in question failed to meet four criteria related to the safety and side effects of the vaccine. The criteria: The vaccine’s safety has been tested for at least one year; the state health department must post information on the injuries and diseases caused by the vaccine; the rate of permanent disability or death is less than that caused by the infection the vaccine is designed to prevent and the vaccine maker has liability for any death or injury caused by the vaccine. The House Human Services Committee voted 8 to 5 to give the bill a “Do Not Pass” recommendation, and the full House Thursday defeated the bill on a 21 to 72 floor vote.

House Bill 1307. This bill would prohibit companies, businesses, food services, schools, government entities and anyone otherwise engaged in providing “public accommodation” from refusing service to a person who has not been vaccinated. Fines could be up to $250 for the first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses. The House Human Services Committee voted 11 to 3 to give the bill a “Do Not Pass” recommendation, and the full House Thursday defeated the bill on a 24 to 68 floor vote.

House Bill 1468. This legislation would require “informed consent” for vaccines by requiring medical providers to tell a person about the risks associated with a vaccine and informing them of a right to an exemption from the vaccine. The bill would also require medical providers to tell pregnant women whether or not the vaccine has been specifically studied in pregnant women. The House Human Services Committee voted 8 to 6 to give the bill a “Do Not Pass” recommendation, and the full House Thursday defeated the bill on a 46 to 47 floor vote.

House Bill 1469. This bill would have defined an exemption to vaccine requirements for young people to be admitted to school. Among the reasons for an exemption: A parent or guardian’s belief that the immunization would endanger the child’s health; or a guardian or parent objects to the immunization on religious, philosophical or moral grounds. Those seeking such an exemption would be required to watch an online vaccination program providing the current science-based information about the vaccine, its risks and the potential harm of not getting the vaccine. The House Human Services Committee voted 12 to 2 to give the bill a “Do Not Pass” recommendation, and the full House Thursday defeated the bill on a 14 to 80 floor vote.

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