Lawmaker says health department stepping on parents’ rights regarding vaccines

State health officials urge flu vaccinations

MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – A National Guard helicopter pilot who also serves in the Michigan House is battling with the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Republican lawmaker says the department is getting in the way of parents’ decisions to vaccinate their kids.

Michigan lawmakers are debating personal liberties as a parent. Republican Tom Barrett says the Department of Health is overstepping its bounds.

The I-VACCINATE campaign is hitting the airwaves, urging parents to vaccinate their kids. DHHS launched the campaign in 2017.

As a father of three, Rep. Barrett says he isn’t opposed to vaccines, but he does think parents should have the right to choose if their kids are vaccinated.

Barrett says within the last few years, DHHS began exceeding their authority, imposing additional restrictions on parents who choose to delay certain vaccines.

“What I think they should’ve done if they found a compelling reason to do that, is they should have brought their case to us in the legislature for us to write a new police, a new stature,” said Rep. Barrett.

When asked why, Rep. Barrett said;

“People can confront their representative. You can’t confront your local health department bureaucrat who is imposing these restrictions on you. You don’t vote for that person.”

Rep. Barrett is hoping lawmakers vote for his legislation that won’t make parents take time off work to undergo training with a public health officer if they don’t choose to vaccinate.

“They would not have to undergo this process,” said Rep. Barrett. “They would not have to sign a waiver form with the public health department that many feel is offensive.”

Agree with vaccines or not, Barrett says his bill is about parents’ rights.

“Ultimately children don’t belong to the government, they don’t belong to the health department, they belong to their parents,” said Barrett.

Newschannel 3 will let you know when Rep. Barrett’s bill hits the House floor for a vote.

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