"If you have an unbiased public health officer who's looking out for the health of the entire community that's different than a private doctor," Gupta said. "We want to make sure that because immunization is such an important component of all of our lives that that is sacrosanct."
Gupta said that the public health officials always look at testing and data to determine whether or not to grant an exemption.
"If the data says that the child is allergic, there's not a physician in this country that will say go ahead and do the shot," Gupta said.
Republican Delegate Daryle Cowles was skeptical that the judgment of a family pediatrician should have to be double-checked by a local public health official.
Cowles said that a family doctor and "a mother's intuition" should be enough to keep a child from being vaccinated and that the state should not play a role.