Texas governor weighs in on vaccination debate

Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott applauds Gov. Rick Perry during a farewell speech to a joint session of the Texas Legislature, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Governor of Texas is weighing in on the vaccination debate in this country.

A statement from his office said Gov. Greg Abbott “supports current Texas law that he believes strikes the right balance of requiring vaccinations while still allowing parents to opt out under certain circumstances.”

Right now state law says parents can opt-out of vaccinations if they have religious or other personal beliefs against vaccines. Since that law went into effect in 2003, more parents are getting vaccination exemptions for their children.

The state’s health department said more than 38,000 were exempted from required vaccinations in the 2013-2014 school year.

On Tuesday, two more babies contracted measles in a Chicago daycare. The measles outbreak is now in 18 states, including Texas.

Abbott also said he “recognizes the important public health benefits of vaccines and encourages all parents to have their children vaccinated.”

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