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Oklahoma Medical Professionals Concerned About Possible Rule Change To Childhoood Vaccine Exemptions

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Oklahoma health officials are considering a policy reversal, which would end a new requirement on parents seeking vaccine exemptions for their kids.

About one year ago, Oklahoma implemented a new policy on vaccine exemptions. Parents wanting to opt their children out of standard vaccines would have to undergo instruction on vaccines science first.

The State Department of Health is considering a reversal. Officials said the new requirement conflicts with state statute, which requires only a written objection.

Some Oklahoma medical professionals held a press conference Thursday. It focused on Oklahoma’s shift toward vaccine skepticism, which they attributed to misinformation on social media.

"By removing the educational component, Oklahoma is ensuring that most parents are receiving their vaccine facts from the internet, primarily social media," said Dr. George Monks, Oklahoma Medical Association president. "We cannot allow science to take a back seat in this conversation."

The public comment period on the rule change ends January 14.


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Catherine Sweeney reports for StateImpact Oklahoma, focusing on health.
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