Tags: Vaccines | vaccine | exemptions | oklahoma

Which Vaccination Exemptions Are Allowed by Oklahoma?

By    |   Tuesday, 28 Jul 2015 09:44 AM

In Oklahoma, vaccination exemption rules allow residents to avoid receiving mandatory immunizations.

Individuals can claim medical, personal objection, or religious exemptions, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The Oklahoma Immunization Act created state vaccination requirements for all children attending public schools.

VOTE NOW: Should Parents Have the Freedom Not to Vaccinate Their Children?

The OSDH noted on its webite, "However, unvaccinated children are at greater risk of catching the diseases and might be excluded from school for the duration of a disease outbreak if one occurs. In the event of a disease outbreak, unvaccinated children may be turned away from school."

Oklahoma's News 9 reported in 2014 that the number of vaccine exemptions in the state had doubled in the last decade to 1.4 percent.

The station, in an updated 2015 story, reported that just 60 percent of Oklahoma's children, aged 19 months to 35 months, are vaccinated, leaving the state with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

In 2013 Centers for Disease Control data, the most recent date for which state data is available, Oklahoma was one of 17 states that had measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccination coverage below 90 percent.

News 9 spoke with a nurse for the Oklahoma City Public Schools who said that of 50 vaccine exemption requests that crossed her desk, just one was for medical reasons.

The nurse said on the exemption forms she has seen parents write "I just don't want to" and "I don't want the government telling me what to do," News 9 reported.

Oklahoma legislators may be looking to remove some of the possible exemptions for state residents, following a national trend toward toughening vaccination laws that was brought on by measles outbreaks nationwide, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

Sen. Ervin Yen, a cardiac anesthesiologist, told The Oklahoman in June 2015 that he will file legislation in the next session to get rid of the religious and philosophical exemptions currently available. Although he knows some legislators will want the government to stay out of personal medical decisions, Yen said the issue is about public safety.

"This is not telling people they have to vaccinate their kids — it’s telling them they need to vaccinate their kids if they go to public, private or parochial schools," Yen told the newspaper.

URGENT: Should States Be Allowed to Make Health Decisions for Your Children?

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In Oklahoma, vaccination exemption rules allow residents to avoid receiving mandatory immunizations.
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Tuesday, 28 Jul 2015 09:44 AM
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