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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.

Confirmed Cases: 11851

Reported Deaths: 232
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah282472
Marion183153
Washington181520
Umatilla9877
Clackamas95527
Union3692
Lincoln3615
Malheur3021
Lane2943
Deschutes2520
Yamhill1949
Jackson1780
Linn17410
Polk17312
Jefferson1630
Morrow1381
Klamath1351
Wasco1161
Benton1126
Hood River1040
Douglas600
Josephine571
Clatsop550
Coos540
Columbia480
Lake240
Crook181
Tillamook160
Wallowa140
Baker110
Curry90
Sherman40
Harney20
Gilliam10
Grant10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 318761

Reported Deaths: 7027
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1303943795
Riverside24765537
Orange23901421
San Diego19371422
San Bernardino18912304
Fresno790687
Imperial7827135
Alameda7725148
Kern633997
San Joaquin627968
Santa Clara5983166
Tulare5678152
Sacramento533981
Stanislaus463351
Contra Costa460589
San Francisco442650
Ventura424653
San Mateo3949112
Santa Barbara393131
Marin343430
Kings289839
Monterey254018
Solano207528
Merced188412
Sonoma165014
Placer105511
San Luis Obispo9054
Madera8938
Yolo83928
Santa Cruz5683
Napa4774
Sutter3724
Butte3384
San Benito3362
El Dorado3070
Lassen2750
Shasta1876
Yuba1803
Humboldt1654
Glenn1640
Nevada1631
Colusa1130
Mendocino1130
Lake1081
Tehama1041
Calaveras670
Tuolumne640
Del Norte600
Mono501
Siskiyou410
Amador400
Inyo341
Mariposa311
Plumas170
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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