Anti-vaxxers protest mandatory vaccinations

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — People who belong to the anti-vaccination movement gathered at the Capitol to protest mandatory vaccines in schools.

About 200 people are in Salem to demand what they call “medical freedom.” They don’t believe that they should be forced to vaccinate their children before sending them to school. 

Brittany Ruiz is a parental rights advocate who is opposed to mandatory vaccinations for children, March 7, 2019 (KOIN)

More specifically, the group is protesting House Bill 3063. It would get rid of religious, personal or philosophical exemptions for all vaccines, a move intended to boost the state’s vaccination rate. Parents wouldn’t be able to decline the vaccines unless the child had an actual medical diagnosis that would require them to not get them.

According to the protesters, HB 3063 would mandate up to 22 vaccines to attend school.

The protest is also part of “Vaccine Injury Awareness Lobby Day.” People were encouraged to share their stories about reactions to vaccines. 

Thursday’s event was organized by Oregonians for Medical Freedom. They want those attending the protest to schedule meetings with lawmakers to voice their concerns.

Since the measles outbreak in Clark County, many health officials and lawmakers have come forward to say vaccinations are “safe and lifesaving.”

Just on Wednesday, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams met with Clark County Public Health employees and young patients at Evergreen Pediatric Clinic.

The surgeon general said vaccinations are important because they do more than just protect the people who receive them. 

“We have a social contract that exists in our community,” Adams said. “We all have to look out for one another, and unfortunately some people can’t get vaccinated, and so it’s important that the ones that can – do, not just to protect themselves but to protect everyone else.” 

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