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Think Out Loud

Should It Be Harder To Opt Out Of Vaccines?

Pete Springer/OPB

Under current state law, parents can send their children to school without vaccinations (pdf) if they have a medical or religious reason. A new law would still allow parents to opt out of vaccinations, but they would have to prove they been briefed on the risks of not vaccinating.

Oregon has the highest rate of immunization exemptions of any state — in Ashland School District, for example, often a quarter of kindergarteners will go unvaccinated. Last Wednesday was exclusion day in Oregon, meaning any students who hadn’t been vaccinated or exempted from vaccinations could be sent home.

If you work in a school, do you think the proposed law would boost vaccination rates? If you choose not to vaccinate your children, would this law affect your decision?

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OPB | Broadcast: Feb. 26, 2013