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Bill Requiring Meningitis Vaccine Moves Forward

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Members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill requiring a meningitis vaccine for school children. Colleen Winter with the South Dakota Department of Health says the intent is to vaccinate children who are entering middle school.

“Half of the states in the country have implemented a requirement,” Winter says. “South Dakota ranks 47th in the country for our rate of vaccinating our youth, our middle schoolers, against meningococcal. Our rate is 57%, compared to 79% in the country, which is unacceptable. Our kids are vulnerable. Requirement helps us help parents to get their children vaccinated. “
 
Opponents to the measure are concerned about negative side effects of vaccination, and say that the requirement takes away a parent’s right to choose. Senate Bill 28 passed by a vote of six to one and now heads to the Senate floor.