State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood), along with State Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell), has introduced legislation, House Bill 536, which would require children enrolled in licensed child care facilities to receive recommended vaccines.
"The bottom line is that we need to do a better job in Ohio of immunizing our children," said Rep. Antonio. "Routine vaccinations can diminish the chances of preventable outbreaks, like Ohio’s resurgence of mumps and measles. We can and should work to prevent the spread of contagious illnesses to promote the health and wellbeing of all Ohio’s children."
Ohio is the only state in the nation that does not currently have a law requiring immunization for attendance in child care settings. Young children attending day care who are not vaccinated are at higher risk of contracting serious illnesses and could possibly present a danger to immunized children.
Recent drops in immunization rates has caused Ohio to see a rise in preventable illnesses. Since January, state health officials have identified more than 330 cases of mumps in 15 counties. A surge of measles has reached 68 cases in the state.
HB 536 will soon receive a committee assignment in order to begin moving through the legislative process.