Bee Wise, Immunize
Quarterly N ewsletter
Spring 2020
Bookmark this IMMUNIZATION PAGE on the Nurture KC web site.
(It now also includes access to these newsletters.)
COVID-19 update -- overview, local news and resources
Although this newsletter focuses on immunizations, we would be remiss to not mention the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As we all know, the disease was first reported in Wuhan, China in December of 2019 and has become a global pandemic. The most common symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Work on developing a vaccine is already underway, but experts agree will take 12 to 18 months to develop.* This crisis has put vaccines and vaccine funding in the global spotlight. 

Locally, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has declared a state of emergency and, effective March 24, issued a “stay-at-home” order for 30 days to help stop the spread of Coronavirus through social distancing. This requires residents of Kansas City and Johnson, Jackson and Wyandotte counties to remain at home except for activities “essential to health and safety,” such as trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, doctor’s office, bank or gas station.

Some excellent resources to stay updated on the disease, as the situation changes daily, are: the CDC and   The World Health Organization .

*Sources: CDC a nd the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (N.I.A.I.D.)
Where immunization legislation stands in Kansas and Missouri
Against the backdrop of COVID-19, it is inescapable to see the link between immunization policy and its direct correlation to public health and disease control. In Missouri and Kansas, there have been attempts to weaken immunization standards. 

In Missouri, HB 2380 -- which has not advanced beyond bill introduction -- has several components designed to dilute vaccine compliance, including:
  • Eliminates the immunization requirement for private and parochial schools and day care centers.
  • Prohibits the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) from developing rules for any new immunization requirements that are not already in statute.
  • Expands immunization exemptions to include a conscientious belief objection.
  • Requires DHSS to effectively promote immunization exemptions by requiring DHSS to develop a brochure outlining the process for obtaining an exemption and posting it on the web site.
  • Removes the existing requirement that college fraternity and sorority house members obtain meningococcal immunizations.
  • Allows a student to attend any school without adherence to immunization standards if he or she can provide evidence of acquired immunity.

In Kansas, HB 2601, while not as comprehensive as the Missouri proposal, moved further in the legislative process, culminating in a public hearing in February. HB 2601 would remove the authority of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to develop rules around new vaccinations. Instead, this duty would fall to our part-time citizen legislature. In a packed committee room, the House Education Committee heard from proponents and opponents, including MAIC. Opponents stressed the importance of health experts in determining vaccine standards as key to maintaining evidence-based decisions.  HB 2601 failed to move through the legislative process this year, thanks to public health advocates who showed up and made their voices heard.
Vaccine requirements for 2020-2021 school year
Children's education looks vastly different right now, as they experience e-learning at home instead of in-person school due to Coronavirus. Yet, now is the time for parents to be thinking ahead and being aware of vaccine requirements for the upcoming school year. All students in Kansas and Missouri must present documentation of up-to-date immunization status based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Learn more:
Have you seen these billboards around KC?
Thanks to funding from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), three pro-immunization billboards appeared throughout Kansas City in February and March. Two billboard locations recently expired, including one off I-70 by the Legends Outlets and another off I-35 in Johnson County. The below mom and daughter billboard is still running off the 18th St. Expressway in Kansas City, Kansas through April 19. The "check the facts" link -- -- connects to vetted, reliable vaccine information on the Nurture KC web site.
Partners of Mid America Immunization Coalition: