Urgent Action Alert! New Vaccine Exemption Rules Proposed!

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has proposed new rules for vaccine exemptions.

The proposed rule changes modify the process for obtaining and submitting religious and personal vaccine exemptions for children enrolled in Oklahoma schools or child care centers. If approved, to obtain a religious or personal vaccine exemption, parents would be required to watch an educational presentation provided by a local county health department regarding “the risks associated with not being vaccinated and the benefits vaccinations provide to the individual and the community.” To be approved, the completed exemption form along with evidence of completed instruction would be required.

The health department hopes this unnecessary hurdle will change the minds of parents who plan to file an exemption and they even note, “Another benefit to parents or guardians, who qualify and make a decision to proceed with vaccination after receiving this education, would be the opportunity for their child to be vaccinated while at the county health department.”

The proposed rule also creates an expiration date for exemptions. Before entry to seventh grade, a new exemption form and “educational presentation” would have to be submitted to the department.

Here is how you can help!

We will be focusing on the following talking points.

  1. Other states have enacted rules like these and saw very little conversion rates; They also had high fiscal consequences involved with enacting these changes. It is not true that parents file exemptions out of convenience.
  2. These rule changes violate bodily autonomy; the right to make decisions over your own body or for your children.
  3. This is an infringement on religious freedom.

Express your concerns using this link first. Before you send in your comment make sure to print it so you may read from it at the meeting on March 5th, if you wish. Also, copy and paste the comment to the following emails. You may also call or send a letter to the phone numbers and address below. The public comment period is open until March 7th, 2020.

Kim Bailey, General Counsel, Oklahoma State Department of Health
(405) 271-6017
KimB@health.ok.gov This email is no longer working. We will update with a working email if we recieve one.
1000 N. E. 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1207

Audrey C. Talley, Rule Liaison, Oklahoma State Department of Health
(405) 271-9444 ext.56535
1000 N. E. 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1207

Plan to be at the public hearing on March 5th, 2020 at the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 1000 Northeast Tenth Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1207, in room 1102 from 1 PM to 4 PM. According to the rule change notice, public comment will be allowed. No signs. Be polite and courteous. Please dress business professional and you feel free to wear your shirts and buttons so they know why you use exemptions. Arrive early and be prepared for a long afternoon (snacks, water, chargers).

If you wish to speak during this public comment there are a few guidelines that we ask you to abide by.

  • Sign in to request time to speak; you must include the official rule number, chapter, section. (School rules: 310:535-1-2  or Childcare rules 310:535-1-3)
  • Sign in as an individual/ private citizen, not as part of OKHPR, or you may lose time to speak. (Only one representative from any organization may speak) – Only Liza Greve will speak on behalf of okhpr.com
  • You will only have 2-minutes (practice & rehearse to build your confidence and reduce nerves; self-control speaks volumes!)- You may read it, but be sure to be in the time limit or you will be cut off!
  • No signs, no interrupting speakers (from ‘other’ side) & remain calm (even when they lie). No sighing, rolling eyes. #pokerface

Share this with your friends!

Share this action alert, the press release to Governor Stitt, and this video which explains what is taking place.