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County Board of Health approves resolution supporting stricter immunization exemptions

MARATHON COUNTY, Wis. (WAOW) — The Marathon County Board of Health voted Tuesday in favor of a resolution to end the personal conviction exemption for immunizations in schools and daycare centers.

The resolution is in support of a current bill in the Wisconsin State Assembly that has remained stagnant since its introduction this spring.

However, a concerned group of individuals in support and against ending the exemption gathered at the county health board meeting.

“We don’t want to take away another parents choice to vaccinate, if that’s what they choose to do,” said Jamie Bernander of Wisconsin United for Freedom. “And in the same token, we would like to reserve the right to refuse said vaccinations for our children.”

Most board members believe that choice is infringed on — no matter the outcome.

“There are people in our community: infants, others with immune compromise conditions, who can’t get vaccinated. So, in a sense then, are you not taking away their personal freedoms for having them at risk?” asked Marathon County Health Officer Joan Theurer.

The resolution is not the final say, and has no legal enforcement. It does show, however, the Health Board’s support for ending the personal exemption.

State lawmakers still have to move legislation forward, a process which has been stalled for six months.

Chase McNamara

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