May 18, 2020

Oklahoma Could Make It More Difficult for Parents to Opt-Out of Immunizing Children

  • Flyover Country

By: Ted Patterson

In Brief:

As a growing number of parents choose to opt their children out of vaccinations, Oklahoma’s State Department of Health has formed a subcommittee aimed at changing the rules, so parents will have to do more than claim a “personal exemption.”

The Background:

The Oklahoman reports:

The agency approved 5,082 approved vaccination exemptions last year, comprising all three categories. That compared with about half as many, 2,417, in 2014.

Thus, a Health Department subcommittee is proposing to rules changes. One would require parents who seek to opt out for religious or personal reasons to first attend a vaccine education briefing at their local health department. The other change would have the exemption expire after sixth grade, with the parent having to repeat the exemption request process at that time.

Why It Matters:

The state thinks it’s a better parent than you.

Notable Quotes:

“[The proposed changes] would allow Oklahoma State Department of Health an opportunity to provide factual information to parents to ensure they are able to make an informed decision regarding the choice to immunize their child.”

  • Dr. Fauzia Khan, the Health Department’s director of immunization services

Ted Patterson is editor of Republic Press.

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