Oregon Ending Vaccine Exemptions As We Know It

vaccine exemption

Children who aren’t up-to-date on their vaccines will be sent home from school starting Wednesday, February 21, 2018 following the enforcement of a new law limiting vaccine exemptions, said local health authorities. Oregon children who have not received their whooping cough, polio, chicken pox, and/or measles vaccines, will be sent home in an effort for parents to vaccinate their children. Children can get exemptions for medical reasons with their doctor’s approval.

Oregon was one of the easiest states for parents to get vaccine exemptions for children prior to the passing of this new law. Citing vaccine preventable disease outbreaks, Oregon legislatures have now cracked down aggressively on vaccine exemptions by taking away a parents right to do what they think is best for their children.

According to Jay Rosenbloom, a pediatrician situated in Portland said, “It’s too easy for parents to get an exemption. . .all they had to do was turn the form over and there was a box on the back and if they just signed that they could then exempt their child from standard vaccines.”

This risk worries health officials. Measles is highly contagious, potentially fatal and has reappeared in recent years. There hasn’t been a measles eruption in an Oregon school yet, but Cieslak said: “If you drop a case of measles into one of those schools, it would spread like wildfire. So far, we’ve been lucky.”

The new law requires a parent to take one of two steps before a vaccine exemption will be granted:

  • Each parent is required to schedule a meeting with a pediatrician and delve in matters regarding the possible risks and advantages of getting their child immunized. This is mainly in a bid to educate the parents and remove the fear that lies within them especially after most of them have undertaken thorough researches and ultimately ended up dreading the thought of their children getting immunized. The idea behind this option is to try and enlighten parents in order for them to try and at least have some faith in both the CDC and FDA.
  • In cases where parents do not want to meet with any pediatrician, they are required to at least take their time and watch an online interactive educational module. Upon doing this, they are required to go ahead and print a form and hand it in to their children’s school for purposes of getting their children exempted from being immunized.

Nearly 30,000 letters were sent last year alone—and those letters are not making empty threats. As of Tuesday Afternoon, no data from this year was available at the state level.

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