Oregon is among 18 states in the country that permit vaccination exemptions for personal, moral, or other beliefs.
In addition to this philosophical exemption, individuals may not be required to be vaccinated for religious reasons or medical concerns, the National Vaccine Information Center reported
For the medical exemption, a document signed by a physician or local health department representative must be given to the school, according to OregonLaws.org
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Philosophical and religious belief documents also require signatures. Parents must sign a document after receiving a signature from a health care practitioner indicating they have discussed the risks of not vaccinating their child or earning a certificate that shows completion of a vaccine educational module.
Oregon’s neighbor to the south California recently passed legislation that removed the state’s philosophical and religious exemptions following an outbreak of measles at the Disneyland park in 2014.
Legislators in Oregon introduced a bill that would remove the religious and personal belief exemption, but has since withdrawn the bill, the Statesman Journal reported
Instead, Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward proposed a bill that would make it more difficult for children to become exempt, but it would still allow for personal beliefs exemptions.
First, children with natural immunity would not be required to claim an exemption. In the case of the chicken pox, a blood test can show if it a child is immune or not without the injection.
The bill would allow for those not in compliance with the requirements time to catch up on their shots.
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As for personal beliefs, parents would need to be educated on the risks of not immunizing their child, and the previous video tools produced by the Oregon Health Authority would not meet the requirement.
Schools would have to post their vaccine-exemption rates both on their websites and on students’ report cards as well.
Oregon has the highest kindergarten exemption rate for nonmedical reasons at 7 percent.
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