February 17th. is Vaccine Exclusion Day at Oregon Schools.
In 2015, I testified at the Oregon Senate health committee against SB442 that was going to get rid of the ability for parents to get a philosophical or non-medical exemption to vaccines. That bill was dropped, so we have preserved parent’s rights in Oregon to selectively vaccinate or not to vaccinate. Medical freedom still exists in Oregon. If you ask most doctors and most school officials, you will not hear this truth. They will tell you your child needs all the “required” vaccines or they will be excluded from school on February 17th. 2016.
The State vaccine program has been sending out warning letters to parents whose children are not fully vaccinated that these children will not be able to attend school starting February 17th. Sadly, they do not inform parents of their right to watch a state produced educational video and then print off their certificate so the schools will allow their child to attend school.
As a result of the passage of SB895 last year, students in public and private schools and certified child care facilities who had a non-medical (religious or philosophical) vaccine exemption in place before March 1, 2014 need to obtain a new non-medical exemption by next Wednesday, February 17.
You can watch the Vaccine Education Module here: http://public.health.oregon.gov/PreventionWellness/VaccinesImmunization/GettingImmunized/Modules/vaccineeducation.htm
You will have to sit there and click through the slides of the video. The length of the video depends on how many vaccines your are opting out of, and takes anywhere from 10 minutes for a single vaccine, to about an hour for all of them. Be sure your computer is attached to a printer at the time you watch this and print off several certificates, at least one for each child and an extra one for you to keep in your records. When you give this document to your school or daycare, you will also need to fill out, and sign the state certificate of immunization status: https://public.health.oregon.gov/PreventionWellness/VaccinesImmunization/GettingImmunized/Documents/SchCISform.pdf that the schools typically provide.
Most of my patients have done lots of vaccines, just not all of them. Fill in those that you have done. Sign it. Turn in your certificate and wish them a good day. No, your doctor does not need to sign this form.
If your school is giving you any trouble, send them to the State web site on this topic: https://public.health.oregon.gov/PreventionWellness/VaccinesImmunization/GettingImmunized/Pages/non-medical-exemption.aspx
They can Google search “Oregon non-medical exemptions” and it comes right up!
If all this fails perhaps a visit from an attorney to level harassment charges might be the last resort.
Medical freedom and informed consent must be our guide, not misinformed schools and physicians who don’t even know the law or the rules. I’m being nice when I say they don’t know the laws and the rules. Perhaps they are being dishonest and manipulative. I’d like to think not.
Dr. Paul Thomas, M.D. is an award-winning Dartmouth-trained pediatrician with nearly 30 years of experience in pediatrics. In addition to being board certified in Pediatrics, he is an expert on addiction and board certified in Addiction Medicine. His practice, Integrative Pediatrics, serves some 11,000 children in Portland, Oregon. He is the co-author of the forthcoming book, The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health—from Pregnancy through Your Child’s Teen Years (Ballantine 2016).