Anti-Vaccine Activist Claims Gov. Brown’s Support as Legislators Seek End to Non-Medical Exemptions

A bipartisan group of legislators, including three physicians, push an amended bill to eliminate non-medical exemptions for Oregon school children. But Gov. Kate Brown promoted a bill in 2001 to expand vaccine exemptions, according to an anti-vaccine activist.

Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Portland, wants to eliminate all non-medical exemptions for school children to be vaccinated, and Wednesday she brought with her to the Oregon Senate Health Committee a drumbeat of support to her cause, including physician legislators from both political parties and a top state official who said his grandparents went deaf from infectious childhood diseases.

The truth about measles in Oregon

Statewide, 95% of children have the measles vaccine, but nonmedical exemptions are rising. Private schools and charter schools are more likely to have “extraordinarily low rates” of vaccinations.

While it’s true that vaccination rates for schoolchildren in Oregon are among the lowest in the country, there is a finer point to consider: the risk of infection is not evenly distributed and is much more likely to be higher in private and charter schools.

Steiner Hayward Wants Stronger Vaccine Law For Seventh Graders

A 2013 law designed to require informed consent for any parents opting out of vaccinations for their children has not worked as intended -- it’s been interpreted as applying to only new students -- compelling lawmakers to ask for a new law that will net all children entering public schools in the 7th grade.

The 2015 session will feature a new bill designed to tighten the vaccination exemptions for school children and protect the public against infectious disease after a 2013 law failed to do what lawmakers had intended.

Virginia Garcia Buckles at Assuming Washington County Public Health Services

The county has proposed ending its medical public health services, including vaccinations, family planning and STD screening in order to focus on education and epidemiology. But the handoff could strain safety net clinics already overwhelmed by the healthcare expansion.

Washington County has plans to unload its public health medical services, including vaccinations, family planning and venereal disease screening onto the safety net clinics, but a director of one of the private safety-net clinics is balking at shifting the role to his clinic.

Local Measles Case Prompts Emphasis on Importance of Vaccines, Potential for Outbreak

Just over 100 measles cases have been diagnosed in the US this year, but British Columbia has seen an outbreak this spring

A baby who passed through Portland International Airport last week has since been diagnosed with measles, prompting officials to stress the importance of vaccinations against the virus.

While vaccination rates in the Portland area remain relatively high – about 95 percent, according to the Multnomah County Health Department – health officials are working with the child's primary care provider to make sure patients are notified of the exposure and to take appropriate follow up.


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