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Maroney laments passage of bill curtailing vaccination requirements

By Joselyn King, The Intelligencer

GLEN DALE, W.Va. – West Virginia Sen. Mike Maroney has major concerns if the state sets a precedent by relaxing some childhood immunization requirements for children.

The Marshall County Republican – a radiologist at WVU Medicine-Wheeling Hospital who also serves as chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee – urged lawmakers to reject House Bill 5105 before it was passed into law.

If signed by Gov. Jim Justice, SB 5105 will eliminate vaccine requirements for students in virtual public schools, as well as private and parochial schools, unless the student participates in sanctioned athletic events.

“(If all vaccination requirements were eliminated) there is no question we would revisit some sad times,” Maroney explained. “There would be some morbidity. There would be some adults and kids sick. There would be some adults and kids who would die.”

Not only would unvaccinated children be more apt to get such diseases as measles and rubella, but adults with diabetes and cancer whose immune systems are compromised would be apt to contract the diseases from them, he continued.

“It won’t happen the first year, but you’ll drop off a percentage of immunity each year,” Maroney said. “After a few years of dropping off a percentage, you’ll really lose immunity.”

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