Doctors Concerned After OSDH Pulls Back Video Requirement On Vaccine Exemptions

Friday, January 15th 2021, 4:58 pm

The Oklahoma State Health Department has set a temporary emergency rule that won’t require parents to watch an instructional video if they opt-out of vaccinating their children.

Last year, a rule was put in place requiring parents to watch an educational video if they decided not to vaccinate their children.

The president of the Oklahoma Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Dwight Sublett, said it's so important to educate parents so they can make an informed scientific decision on vaccinating their children rather than one based off of the media.

“Anytime you take away information, I think there is some danger, and a lot of times, confusion and misinformation that falls in place,” Sublett said.

“Opting out based solely on social media myths is irresponsible and unethical," Dr. Don Wilber, a pediatrician, said. "Everyone that can be vaccinated should be."

Sublett said he's seen outbreaks of diseases, like the measles. The measles is a serious illness that should be really non-existent with proper immunizations, he said.

"I’ve always told my patients over the years, this is about the most important I do for you is providing vaccines for your children,” Sublett said.

Sublett said vaccine benefits outweigh the risks.

"Can you have long-term problems? It's possible, but the likelihood is extremely low,” he said.

The state health department said in a statement, it "supports vaccinations and encourages Oklahoma parents and legal guardians to vaccinate their children."

However, watching an instructional video is no longer needed, but they do require parents give them a written statement.

The state health department said the no video requirement expires on Sept. 14, 2021, but it's working to make this emergency rule change permanent.