Oregon health officials are blaming “print your own vaccine exemption” forms for the state’s lower vaccine rates. Oregon Health Authority data claims 30,000 Oregon parents used a templated, printable vaccine exemption document they downloaded from an online educational program. The state has a total of 31,500 non-medical vaccine exemptions last year. This means nearly all non-medical vaccine exemptions derived from the downloadable document in 2018.
The second option, which is to discuss the matter with a healthcare provider and obtain a signature for the exemption, was chosen by only 1,500 parents.
About 7.6% of Oregon’s kindergartners gained an exemption from at least one vaccine during the 2017-18 school year. This is prompting Oregon health officials to push for new laws. State Rep. Mitch Greenlick introduced HB3063 in an attempt to cut down on exemptions.
“It’s obviously letting too many people off the hook,” he said.
Doctors are taking aim at people’s ability to gain exemptions in an easy fashion using the Internet. Additionally, major tech companies consistently find themselves under fire for allowing anti-vaccine groups to gather and discuss issues. Last month, Facebook caved under pressure from Democratic representative Adam Schiff and announced it would take a harder line against the reach of anti-vaccine groups. Pinterest recently banned all vaccine searches from its platform.