NewsLocal News


As Texas doctors refuse patients without vaccinations, lawmakers consider bill that would force them to

measles vaccine
Posted at 3:16 PM, Apr 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 14:55:14-04

GROESBECK, TX — As the debate over vaccinations rages on... some doctors have begun taking a stand.

In fact, you'll find some of them in Central Texas.

A Limestone County doctor, will only see patients who've had their shots, while at the same time, Texas lawmakers have also become involved in the debate.

Dog groomer Tina Ary sees every day how vaccines keep our pets healthy, so she's always made sure her children get their shots, too.

"I've raised two children that are in their mid 30s, and now I'm raising a granddaughter and we don't skip a vaccine," said Ary.

In recent years, lots of parents have skipped important vaccines to prevent diseases like measles, tuberculosis and other fatal diseases.

It's gotten so bad that doctors, like family practitioner Kody Yerger of Groesbeck, have taken action.

Yerger and other doctors won't see patients who haven't had their shots.

"If they're not going to listen to me about that, then why should I believe they're going to listen to me about any medications I recommend," explained Yerger.

But, lawmakers in Austin have also started listening.

This week, Texas lawmakers took up Senate Bill 2351 that would make it illegal for doctors to refuse treatment to people who haven't had their vaccinations.

Texas keeps computerized records of who's had their shots, but the registry is voluntary.

Yerger says a theory of "Herd immunity" has protected us for years, but it's beginning to break down.

"Having a majority of patients immunized protects those that aren't. But as you get more and more patients that aren't vaccinated, that theory starts to fall apart. And you getting these pockets of infectious places,” he said.

Those pockets keep popping up around the country.

Two colleges in California, including UCLA, recently quarantined several students exposed to measles.

Ary doesn't need a doctor or a lawmaker to remind her of the importance of vaccines.

She has one word for those who skip their shots.

"I think it's crazy. They need their vaccines. I mean, I would not want to go through measles, oh that would be just heart-wrenching," she said.

She says why suffer, when permanent relief is just a shot away.

Yerger points out that unvaccinated people put others at risk, such as the very young and the very old, who often have undeveloped or weakened immune systems.