Mandatory vaccination critics rally against legislation removing exemptions – Tulsa World


Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2017 12:01 am
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Updated: 3:34 am, Thu Feb 9, 2017.

Mandatory vaccination critics rally against legislation removing exemptions

By Barbara Hoberock
Tulsa World

TulsaWorld.com

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Critics of mandatory vaccinations rallied at the state Capitol on Wednesday.

They are opposed to Senate Bill 83, which would remove two of the three exemptions to mandatory vaccinations.

The bill would allow a child to be exempt from school-required vaccinations only if a doctor says the child’s physical condition is such that immunization would endanger his or her life or health.

Sen. Ervin Yen, R-Oklahoma City, said critics of his bill are absolutely wrong and the state’s vaccination rates are too low.

“The scientific and medical community is quite clear,” said Yen, who is a doctor. “The benefits of vaccination far, far outweigh the risks of vaccinations. And there are risks of vaccinations. Thankfully, they are rare.”

Yen said vaccinations do not lead to autism, despite claims to the contrary.

Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, who chairs the House Public Health Committee, said Yen’s bill is “dead on arrival.”

“Government does not trump parents’ rights,” said Ritze, who is also a doctor.

Sen. Nathan Dahm R-Broken Arrow, told the crowd gathered on the first floor of the state Capitol that some people are working to take away their rights.

Dahm said he is concerned about forced participation and told the crowd to stay engaged.

“It doesn’t end until the end of May,” he said, referring to the Legislature’s mandatory adjournment by 5 p.m. May 26.

Sen. Joseph Silk, R-Broken Bow, told the crowd to “fight the establishment.”

Casey Ohlsson of Tulsa attended the rally.

“I am here to protect our right to choose what we inject in our kids’ bodies,” she said.

The rally was sponsored by Oklahomans for Vaccine and Health Choice-PAC.

Liza Greve, president of Oklahomans for Vaccine and Health Choice, said about 300 people attended.

Twitter: @bhoberock

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Thursday, February 9, 2017 12:01 am.

Updated: 3:34 am.


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