New Oregon Immunization Law (Senate Bill 132) Goes into Effect March 2014

vaccine moneyEducated parents and those wishing to make an educated decision about vaccines should be aware of the subtle, carefully worded features of the Senate Bill 132 which will become the new law regarding vaccinations in Oregon effective March 2014.

To attend school in Oregon, parents will need to provide either a document that shows their child is up to date on all the vaccines required for school or a signed document that the child can be exempted for:

1.  Medical Reasons  (this one is near impossible to use as the health department has the ultimate say on what conditions qualify).

2.  Religious Reasons (you must be a part of a religion that is against immunizations).

3. Philosophical Beliefs AND either verify you have completed a vaccine educational module “approved by the authority…” OR that your eligible practitioner has provided you with the information that is “consistent with the information published by the CDC … and the contents of the educational module…”.

What I see here in this law is an attempt to educate parents, which is good, but an obvious attempt to limit that education to only the information from the CDC on the safety of vaccines and to specifically exclude peer reviewed and other valid information about the risks of vaccines. To make an informed choice about vaccines, parents today need all the information. 

So what do parents who wish to claim a philosophical objection do?  For example, you may object to injecting 250 micrograms of aluminum into your newborn for the prevention of Hepatitis B, to which your child is not at risk (if mom does not have Hepatitis B the newborn is at ZERO risk).  It appears that the way to do this is to take the training module (still in development) and of course learn all you can from all reputable sources. Then you can sign the philosophical exemption.  

As you can see from the quote below, the law allows the State to control the content of the educational module and leaves out the risks and side effects from the required training:

“10) Criteria for a vaccine educational module, including the requirement that a vaccine

educational module present information that is consistent with information published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning:

(a) Epidemiology;
(b) The prevention of disease through the use of vaccinations; and
(c) The safety and efficacy of vaccines; and

 

(11) Documentation required to verify completion of a vaccine educational module,

including the qualifications of persons who may certify the completion.”

 

“SECTION 6. This 2013 Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is declared to exist, and this 2013 Act takes effect on its passage.”

Apparently we are in a state of emergency, hence the need for this law.  Hopefully we all feel a lot safer knowing that our State government is on top of this issue.  I volunteered to help make the educational video, but was told the information to be used was coming from the CDC.

Dr. Paul

4 comments

  • Jennifer Robins

    Hi Dr Paul –

    We choose to have our 6 year old son on an alternative vaccine schedule. With that in mind, we’ve always claimed the “Religious Exemption”. In the state of Oregon, a religious exemption is “any personal belief system”. Above, it mentions that if you claim religious reasons, “you must be a part of a religion that is against immunizations”. Has this changed under Senate Bill 132 or are “religious reasons” still considered “any personal belief system”?

    Thank you!

    Jennifer Robins

    • Yes this bill that is law and goes into effect in march means that most will need to use option 3 – and use philosophical reasons and watch the video then follow the instructions. The final version is still pending so stay tuned – I will update on this as soon as the final version is out. there will be a way for educated parents to vaccinate appropriately and as they wish.

  • Rachel Woody

    Dr. Thomas,

    So with what is stated above, unless we belong to a religion that doesn’t believe in vaccines, we must go off above number 3. With that are you classified as an “eligible practitioner”? Or do we need to plan for option A of number 3. If so how do we go about that.

    • I will post clear instructions once the final bill and training website is up and live. It will likely be best for parents to use option 3 and watch the training video and sign the document that gives then the exemption.

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