Vaccine rights in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Despite new cases of mumps being reported around the state, there are some who believe that state law should not be as strict when it comes to vaccination.

Signs are posted on the Capitol steps bringing awareness to parental vaccine rights in Mississippi.

“We are having a little bit of a hard time getting through to our lawmakers that vaccines are not 100 percent safe,” said Mary Jo Perry, Co- Director, MS Parents for Vaccine Rights.

The large bus also sits near the Capitol lawn with the names of children from around the U.S. that have had a negative reaction to a vaccine.

“Vaccines are in fact a pharmaceutical drug, and they carry risks of injury and death, and these parents are here to tell their stories,” Perry said.

Just recently in the State of Mississippi, at least six baseball players at Pearl River Community College were diagnosed with mumps, a highly contagious virus that causes swelling of the face.

“We still see outbreaks in people who did not get vaccinated or people who did not respond to the vaccines,” said Kendo Inaghki, of the University of Mississippi’s Medical Center’s Dept. of Infectious Diseases.

According to the Mississippi State Departement of Health’s website, immunizations are required by law in the state of Mississippi to enter school, head start or daycare. Specific vaccines are also recommended for students entering high school or college.

“It’s very important for everyone to be aware of the importance of vaccinations,” Inaghki said.

However, supporters of Mississippi Parents for Vaccine Rights believe parents should have a say.

“We’re getting 21 doses of vaccines by 6 months and that’s a lot,” said Lindey Magee, Co- Director of MS Parents for Vaccine Rights. “We didn’t receive that many and we need for parents to be given options and to be able to stand between their child and a government program.”

The UMMC Department of Infectious Diseases says the MMR vaccine’s effectiveness is close to 90 percent.

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