Group Of Oklahoma Doctors Object To Proposed Vaccination Rule Change

Friday, January 8th 2021, 7:53 am
By: Colby Thelen

A group of Oklahoma doctors is opposing a possible rule change that would make it easier for parents to opt-out of vaccinations for their children.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health's proposal looks to eliminate an educational component for parents.

Oklahoma pediatrician Dr. Don Wilbur says that component would likely be a short video explaining the risks and benefits of inoculation. 

State law currently allows parents not to vaccinate their children if they provide a written statement. 

Dr. Wilbur says parents would still have the option to opt-out, but he believes they should have the most accurate information before making their decision. 

The Oklahoma State Medical Association board president, Dr. George Monks, believes the rule ensures parents can stay informed.

"How can we promote safe vaccination for COVID on one hand while not upholding common sense vaccination policy on the other?" Dr. Monks asks. "By eliminating the educational component, Oklahoma is ensuring that most parents are receiving their vaccination facts from the internet, primarily social media."

Dr. Monks fears the rule change could force science into the backseat of the conversation.

"We must ensure parents have the most accurate information possible in regard to their child's safety," he says.

OU Health's Dr. Steven Crawford is also speaking out in favor of the educational requirement. He says the rule was suspended when the pandemic began, but the new proposal would eliminate it altogether. 

The doctors are encouraging Oklahomans to voice their concerns about the rule change with the Oklahoma State Department of Health. 

The department is accepting comments about the plan on its website through January 14th.