'Vaccination freedom' group convenes at the W.Va. Capitol

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) — Members of the West Virginians for Health Freedom group met Monday at the West Virginia Capitol to talk about vaccination protocols for children.

Members of the West Virginians for Health Freedom group met Monday at the Capitol about vaccination requirements.

The group is made up of doctors and parents who claim to not be against vaccinations.

Instead, they say they want the right to choose whether or not they can vaccinate their children.

They also feel that children should have the right to attend public schools without being vaccinated.

One of the primary reasons members of the group give is that vaccines are not 100 percent effective.

Members claim the routine shots can hurt people.

"As a parent, we need to have a choice do you want to do this injection or not do you want to do this vaccine or not," said Sarah Frazier.

But doctors say man of the group's claims are far from the truth. They say children who are not vaccinated pose a health threat to those who have been.

"You have to depend on your community and fellow members of society to vaccinate their children, because your child may not be at the age to get a measles mumps rubella shot," said Dr. Angie Settle, CEO of the Health Right Clinic in Charleston.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar made a plea last year to "anti-vaxxer" parents that they speak with their doctor about getting their child vaccinated, and said, "You are putting yourself; you are putting your children; you are putting your community at risk."

House Bill 2847, proposed in West Virginia's 2020 session, aims to provide exemptions from mandatory immunizations. It has been introduced and is being reviewed by the Health and Human Resources Committee.