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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: 348766

Reported Deaths: 4161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54797689
Washington37988313
Marion36055444
Clackamas29094304
Lane26966298
Jackson22632300
Deschutes19577123
Umatilla14241144
Linn12380120
Douglas11795240
Josephine9233195
Yamhill8517110
Klamath7709110
Polk715380
Malheur551574
Benton529130
Coos489691
Columbia371343
Jefferson361450
Union313146
Lincoln310638
Wasco281540
Crook274745
Clatsop239529
Baker198028
Tillamook193328
Hood River188337
Morrow181623
Curry178122
Harney108424
Grant97612
Lake89011
Wallowa67012
Gilliam1484
Sherman1463
Wheeler991
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4810682

Reported Deaths: 70604
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147569426398
Riverside3693444990
San Diego3641044163
San Bernardino3563155566
Orange3227415518
Sacramento1576212279
Santa Clara1445181890
Kern1441461605
Fresno1441232051
Alameda1198871374
San Joaquin1018071708
Ventura1005241164
Contra Costa99234982
Stanislaus851571315
Tulare78945951
San Francisco54031645
San Mateo53828622
Monterey50696582
Solano45761334
Santa Barbara44836521
Merced41781577
Sonoma40711402
Placer38902415
Imperial35642764
Kings32369314
San Luis Obispo29653329
Madera23518281
Butte23364260
Shasta23360334
Santa Cruz20861218
Yolo20147247
Marin17581243
El Dorado16960149
Sutter13775169
Napa12808100
Yuba994282
Tehama9298104
Humboldt9102108
Nevada903990
Mendocino752786
Lassen746346
San Benito737372
Tuolumne673993
Lake6506104
Amador537264
Siskiyou442742
Glenn430330
Calaveras381780
Del Norte356141
Colusa301718
Inyo196739
Mono16445
Plumas15756
Mariposa127315
Trinity86011
Modoc6698
Unassigned1860
Sierra1760
Alpine1020
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