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Wisconsin Senate OKs bill sealing vaccination mailings

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Senate approved a Republican-authored bill Tuesday that would require government agencies, schools and day cares to seal any mailings that could reveal someone’s vaccination status.

The bill authors, Rep. Shae Sortwell and Sen. Kathy Bernier, contend county health departments have been sending postcards to people implying that their children may be behind on vaccinations, subverting federal health privacy laws.

“This bill does not pass judgment one way or another on vaccines,” Bernier said in written remarks to her fellow lawmakers in April. “This simply secures, and affirms that the government has no right to intrude upon, your privacy and the privacy of every person across the state.”

The group Vaccine Choice Wisconsin argued in a letter to lawmakers that anyone could read the postcards, assume someone hasn’t been vaccinated and target them.

The Senate passed the bill on a voice vote Tuesday with no debate. The Assembly passed it June. It now goes to Gov. Tony Evers.

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