Vaccination Exemptions Protest in Salem

Today there was a protest in Salem against Senate Bill 442, which has an amendment  that would eliminate non-medical vaccine exemptions from Oregon's school immunization law.

About 100 to 150 Oregonians and their children at the Oregon State Capitol in a rally against the amendments.

Seven percent of Oregon's kindergarteners have non-medical exemptions from at least one required vaccine, which is the highest in the country.  While we have yet to see measles or mumps, it is only a matter of time as herd immunity falls.  I worry we will see a vaccine preventable death from measles. 

Roald Dahl’s daughter  died in 1962, a year before the measles vaccine:

Olivia, my eldest daughter, caught measles when she was seven years old. As the illness took its usual course I can remember reading to her often in bed and not feeling particularly alarmed about it. Then one morning, when she was well on the road to recovery, I was sitting on her bed showing her how to fashion little animals out of colored pipe-cleaners, and when it came to her turn to make one herself, I noticed that her fingers and her mind were not working together and she couldn’t do anything.

“Are you feeling all right?” I asked her.

“I feel all sleepy,” she said.

In an hour, she was unconscious. In twelve hours she was dead.

From his diary:

Got to hospital. Walked in. Two doctors advanced on me from waiting room. How is she? I’m afraid it’s too late. I went into her room. Sheet was over her. Doctor said to nurse go out. Leave him alone. I kissed her. She was warm. I went out. ‘She is warm.’ I said to doctors in hall, ‘Why is she so warm?’ ‘Of course,’ he said. I left.

That is the tragedy vaccines prevent.

Age of Autism suggests that the bill is losing support, although that appears to be an opinion with a lack of data to support the conclusion.

Robert Kennedy, Jr. was also in Oregon lobbying against the bill where

his main concern (was) over a preservative called Thimerosal

Despite the fact there is no Thimerosol in any of the childhood vaccines except the multidose influenza vaccine and the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) never contained Thimerosol. 

The protesters focused on 

"... an assault on our first amendment rights, an assault on our freedom of religion and freedom of speech," Dr. Thomas told the crowd over microphone. "Medical freedom matters, informed consent matters, civil liberties matter."

Despite the fact the issue was decided by the Supreme Court in 1905:

The Court's decision articulated the view that the freedom of the individual must sometimes be subordinated to the common welfare and is subject to the police power of the state.

Not that anti-vaccine proponents are interested in the welfare of others. 

Vaccines remain 

"..safe and effective, a conclusion that is based on decades of research and experience. We know that as the percentage of unvaccinated people grows, so too grows the risk of devastating vaccine-preventable diseases."

There are links to the the extensive data confirming the safety and effectiveness of vaccines in the 'Vaccination' menu item

The voices against public health and safety are currently loudest.

The Bill is back in the Senate Committee On Health Care.  Let them know if you support tightening vaccine exemptions. Click here for a list of the members of the committee.

Mark Crislip MD