Doctor's Vaccination Bill Faces Early Opposition

Monday, October 19th 2015, 7:03 pm
By: Karl Torp

The plan to mandate vaccinating school children could be "dead on arrival" before lawmakers even vote on it.

State Sen. Ervin Yen is an anesthesiologist now pushing to get rid of Oklahoma’s personal and religious exemptions for vaccinating school children.

He said it’s too easy and too risky for parents to opt-out of vaccinating their children.

The medical exemption would remain under the proposed bill.

“It’s a no-brainer. This is not rocket science,” Yen said.

Yen said lives saved by vaccinations each year far outweighs the rare cases where a person has died from a reaction to a vaccine.

The lawmakers say 400 to 500 children in Oklahoma are not vaccinated.

About 9.5 percent of all kindergarten children are not vaccinated, according to Yen.

Yen said he hasn’t met a doctor against his bill.

“The AMA’s (American Medical Association) official policy is that in every state in America, the only exemption should be medical,” Yen said.

Yen’s bill has been assigned to the state Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee.  

State Sen. Rob Standridge chairs the committee and has said he wouldn’t put the bill up for a vote.

On Monday, he told News 9 he was still against it.

“Typically, Oklahomans are not in favor of the government micro-managing their lives,” Standridge said.

“I will not give up, because it’s the right thing to do for Oklahomans,” Yen said.

Yen said he’ll find other avenues for his bill, including another committee, if it doesn’t come up for a vote out of Health and Human Services.