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Bill to end vaccine exemptions passes Oregon House

The bill would end all 'nonmedical vaccination exemptions' for K-12 students attending school in Oregon.

Posted: May 6, 2019 2:07 PM
Updated: May 7, 2019 2:29 PM

SALEM, Ore. — A bill aimed at ending vaccine exemptions for school students in Oregon has passed the House of Representatives, Representative Cheri Helt's office (R-Bend) confirmed on Monday.

If passed in the state Senate, the bill would end the practice of allowing non-medical exemptions for K-12 students attending schools in the state. At present, exemptions are allowed for philosophical or religious reasons as long as the parent or guardian watches an online educational video or speaks to a healthcare provider in order to obtain certification that they have been advised on the risks.

"Some people cannot be vaccinated because of medical conditions — and exposure to a vaccine-preventable disease could be fatal to them. If your child has been exposed to a disease, intentionally or not, keep them home at the first sign of illness," reads a disclaimer from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). "Actively choosing not to immunize your child is a parent’s right; however, it carries with it a significant responsibility: not exposing others to communicable disease."

Like a similar bill in Washington state, the Oregon measure arose following a recent measles outbreak that straddled the two states for a period of months. The vast majority of cases were in Clark County, Washington.

“House Bill 3063 is about saving lives, protecting children and communities, believing in sound science, and building immunity from dangerous diseases," said Rep. Helt. "I am encouraged that it has passed through the House and hope my colleagues in the Senate agree that this legislation is vital to protect those among us who cannot be vaccinated due to legitimate medical reasons.”


CLICK HERE for more on the recent measles outbreak across the U.S., considered the largest since before 2000.


Helt went on to say that the bill would "provide Oregonians with freedom from fear, freedom from sickness, freedom from quarantines and freedom from diseases that can kill.”

The bill passed with some bipartisan support and opposition in a 35-25 vote. While most Democrats voted in favor of the bill, a handful voted against. Representative Kim Wallan (R-Medford) joined Helt in supporting it, but they were the only Republicans to do so.

Governor Brown has said that she would sign the bill into law if it comes to her desk. Brown recently signed a bill into law that would allow dentists to provide vaccinations.

Vaccines currently required for K-12 students in Oregon are DTaP/Tdap (Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis), Polio, Varicella (Chickenpox), MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. The number of doses required depends on which year of school the child is in.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 66333

Reported Deaths: 826
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah15240213
Washington903896
Marion8436130
Clackamas547276
Umatilla415648
Lane389037
Jackson343623
Malheur231839
Deschutes195514
Yamhill158216
Linn127518
Polk107615
Douglas82215
Jefferson77311
Benton7197
Union7172
Klamath6854
Morrow6257
Lincoln56513
Wasco47918
Josephine4434
Columbia4383
Coos3901
Hood River3661
Clatsop3350
Baker2593
Crook1986
Grant1231
Tillamook1120
Curry1052
Lake1010
Harney871
Wallowa702
Sherman230
Gilliam210
Wheeler30
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1128219

Reported Deaths: 18753
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3706367446
San Bernardino851761129
Riverside815651413
San Diego72815968
Orange711161554
Kern38519445
Fresno36315471
Sacramento33421546
Santa Clara31103464
Alameda27622499
San Joaquin24649503
Contra Costa22482258
Stanislaus20658418
Tulare19818303
Ventura18105174
Imperial15257355
San Francisco14542158
Monterey13887114
San Mateo13334169
Sonoma11486155
Merced10986176
Santa Barbara10946133
Kings1011586
Solano936380
Marin7560128
Placer607167
Madera588580
San Luis Obispo566435
Yolo425775
Shasta410042
Santa Cruz389627
Butte371259
Napa277817
Sutter267713
El Dorado19304
San Benito174615
Yuba173210
Lassen14803
Tehama145723
Mendocino142422
Nevada10529
Lake83418
Glenn8326
Humboldt7849
Tuolumne7848
Colusa6426
Mono4993
Siskiyou4951
Amador45016
Calaveras43421
Inyo27916
Del Norte2731
Plumas1770
Modoc1140
Trinity1140
Mariposa1122
Alpine420
Sierra170
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