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: 190804

Reported Deaths: 2528
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah37830583
Washington25279229
Marion21739306
Clackamas17107209
Lane12799145
Jackson10716135
Deschutes866973
Umatilla814084
Linn479867
Yamhill441175
Klamath430861
Polk369952
Malheur349861
Josephine330268
Douglas322070
Benton302619
Jefferson216734
Coos204633
Columbia170526
Union144423
Lincoln137020
Wasco137028
Hood River117930
Morrow110015
Crook106520
Clatsop9738
Baker94614
Curry6459
Tillamook6363
Grant5065
Lake4447
Harney3378
Wallowa1825
Gilliam621
Sherman581
Wheeler281
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California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3757115

Reported Deaths: 62280
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123542224008
Riverside2990644587
San Bernardino2965144697
San Diego2777593725
Orange2707055005
Santa Clara1188512085
Kern1089931373
Sacramento1041761672
Fresno1016251684
Alameda875851545
Ventura808421011
San Joaquin730091391
Contra Costa68503804
Stanislaus619161055
Tulare49554839
Monterey43563382
San Mateo41844568
San Francisco36616543
Santa Barbara34306453
Solano32752249
Merced31743458
Sonoma29975318
Imperial28352721
Kings22965246
Placer22550290
San Luis Obispo21282260
Madera16439242
Santa Cruz16188206
Marin14034228
Yolo13875209
Shasta12071226
Butte11943199
El Dorado10111112
Napa984981
Sutter9411111
Yuba622146
San Benito604863
Lassen569824
Tehama555358
Nevada470775
Tuolumne412364
Mendocino406149
Humboldt393539
Amador365147
Lake346743
Glenn238125
Colusa223016
Siskiyou218123
Calaveras212153
Inyo142638
Del Norte13678
Mono12804
Plumas7066
Modoc4954
Mariposa4457
Trinity3995
Sierra1120
Alpine880
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