Call to Action
SB 254 is an Oregon bill that will remove the ability of a parent to decline required immunizations. Creating a massive disparity of equity, based upon genetic disorders, the action of this bill would segregate children from their peers lending to isolation which is conducive to suicide, abuse, lack of access to food, and has a disproportionately high affect upon lower income households, minority communities, tribal communities, and families dependent upon government funded IDD (Developmental Disabilities) services.
Personal Choice and Responsibility
Under current statutory provisions children are the responsibility of the parent/guardian/ or familial unit until age 18. In the event of injury from a vaccine, the parent or guardian is responsible for life-long care of the injured child/individual. Given that the consequences of vaccination belong solely to the familial unit, so should the choice to vaccinate.
Removal of rights is not within the legislature’s ability or scope of authority. The legislature’s sworn oath is to abide by the limitations set forth in accordance with the state’s social compact. Preservation of the common good begins with the preservation of individualized medical care. Whomever bears the burden of responsibility must also have full autonomy over choice.
According to data released by the Oregon Health Authority these measures are unnecessary and unwarranted to effectively achieve a level of vaccine induced herd immunity, which already exists and is steadily climbing without legislative intervention.
As seen in figure one, rates of non-medical exemptions are declining. Oregon has faced many challenges to vaccine uptake, and continuation of the CDC recommended schedule due to COVID-19 Executive Orders, and the subsequent cancelation of routine appointments, along with the closure of medical facilities due to financial hardship. Despite these significant barriers to care, Oregon is still seeing a drastic increase in vaccine uptake, and a notable decline in Non-medical exemptions. As clinics and hospitals return to normal function, evidence suggests this trend, in vaccine uptake, will remain steady, without legislative intervention.
Upon further analysis, we see the gap of non-medical exemptions close near middle and high school, taking the number of non-medical exemptions down to less than 4 per average high school, across the State (see figure 2).
Lastly, a significant wording change is presented adding “OR” Restrictable Disease, leaving this bill open to include the Flu, the COVID-19, HPV, Meningococcal and any additional vaccine deemed necessary to prevent said restrictable disease by the new board this bill proposes to create, (bypassing the current authority of both doctors and ISLAC). Given the lack of access to small family providers, due to COVID-19 restrictions, underserved communities would be at highest risk for coercion and inappropriate informed consent via larger Coordinated Care Organizations and their internal policy vs patient medical history, and patient rights. Serious breaches of ethics, and informed consent result when policy is placed above individualized care.
It is estimated that, anywhere between 36k-80k children would be barred from attending public school, and sports programs, who rely on public assistance for food services, and special education. Due to distance learning failures, the state has experienced record unenrollment, resulting in a loss of revenue for future classes. The added expense of additional unenrollment <36k> could result in the loss of, as many as, one full time teaching position per school across the state, during the next budget and contract cycle.
Additionally, the out-of-pocket expense to families trying to cover IDD services, or specialized care and schooling, coupled with the loss of workforce employees and lost tax revenue, from parents forced to stay home, is a burden to our most vulnerable communities, and familial units. It is unclear what the additional cost to taxpayers will be for the new board overseeing medical exemptions and vaccine recommendations. It’s also unclear at this time what the total cost or impacts of social isolation (if unenrolled) or injury (from lack of choice) will do to our mental health, and medical care system.
Studies indicate that vaccine injury and ethical violations of informed consent happen at higher rates within BIPOC communities. Where suicide due to social isolation occurs at higher rates amongst white and LGBTQ communities. Further study and analysis needs to be carried out by the OHA to determine the significant impacts of this bill to families receiving IDD services per ADA compliance. Additionally, given the “relating to” clause, the opening line of “removes parents’ rights” must be amended to avoid civil litigation and further cost to the State.
The Governor will appoint members to the new board overseeing medical exemptions, the bill does not specify if the board will consist of healthcare professionals or not. Government is an inadequate substitute for the doctor patient relationship, but there’s also a concern amongst healthcare providers of reprisals for issuance of medical exemptions after witnessing this exact bill pass in California, and the subsequent licensure revocations that occurred amongst doctors who issued medical exemptions to patients.
Again, this issue significantly and disproportionately affects rural and urban communities without adequate access to family care clinics or primary care doctors. There is a high correlation rate between non-medical exemptions and IEP’s, suggesting students on an IEP are the very same students incapable of continued vaccination on the ACIP schedule, yet medical exemptions, due to their narrow language do not apply. Given that the 2019 Legislative Body passed a bill recognizing PANS/PANDAS as an autoimmune disorder exacerbated by vaccines and given the very high likelihood this bill would serve to kick children out of school, it’s purporting to protect, due diligence must be performed by OHA to avoid unnecessary harm.
SB254 removes autonomy from schools, school districts, school boards, city and county elected officials to appropriately determine risk thresholds for communicable or restricted illnesses, or determine an appropriate response to the risk, even if that area is outbreak free. Conversely the local level will suffer the most in terms of financial consequences, and emotional damage.
There is no COVID-19 vaccine currently approved by the FDA, while the American population has been enrolled into the stage 3 clinical trial, and the vaccine is not currently mandated for school attendance, Pfizer just announced that they have opened the trial to children ages 10-16. Once completed and approved this vaccine has been slated for addition to the ACIP schedule of childhood vaccines and is already classified by the OHA as a restrictable disease.
Whereas the current list of childhood vaccines has no direct manufacturer liability for injury, there is still a national vaccine injury court for damages. As difficult as this court is to navigate, it’s paid out nearly 5 Billion in damages this far. Conversely, the COVID-19 vaccines have been given even more liability protection from any liability for injury or death under a federal compensation program created by the PREP ACT. Making any vaccine a requirement for school attendance given the lack of choice over which brand, or product to use, and virtually without remedy for injury, this bill removes fair market practices, and the free market incentive to create a better product.
Click to email your senators and ask them to Vote No on SB254. Ask them to help make sure the bill is not scheduled for a hearing and is withdrawn.