Arizona Health Leaders: Vaccination Transparency Bills Could Cause Unnecessary Fear

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Monday, January 28, 2019 - 10:48am
Updated: Monday, January 28, 2019 - 12:13pm

At a time when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is seeing a nationwide uptick in measles and other preventable diseases, an Arizona lawmaker has proposed two bills that state health leaders warn could scare parents away from vaccinating their children.

Arizona Sen. Paul Boyer of Phoenix insists he’s not opposed to giving children vaccinations in Senate Bill 1115, so long as doctors give parents the same details and “informed consent” as they would for a surgery.

"Everybody who goes for an operation, procedure or anything, they're informed," Boyer argued, "They're told of all the risks that could happen with whatever procedure it is. They're not given the surgery and then, after the fact, 'Oh, by the way, here are the known adverse effects."

Former Arizona Health Director Will Humble said the state already informs parents of the risks and benefits and worries that handing parents the Food and Drug Administration’s full medical report will pull attention away from what’s important during pediatric visits.

"When a patient or parents get a whole bunch of information that they don't understand," Humble pointed out, "then that pediatric appointment can easily become about the 12-page sheet of paper that they don't understand rather than doing all the developmental screening that needs to be done in that 15, 20, 25 minute appointment."

Humble said Boyer’s second bill, Senate Bill 1116, will cause further confusion by requiring physicians tell parents they can use an “antibody titer test” to determine if a vaccine is necessary.

Humble warned that idea is misinformed.  The titer test, he explained, is used to determine if adults have been vaccinated or exposed to a disease.  It is not appropriate for use on children.

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