Earlier this week The Oklahoman published an article claiming that Oklahoma Kindergarteners are the least vaccinated in the region. We would like to take time to address some of the claims made in the article.
- In Oklahoma, a parent must file a vaccine exemption to exempt from even one dose of one of the required vaccines for daycare or school.
- There are currently 26 doses of 9 vaccines that are required in Oklahoma for daycare or school entry. Parents may choose to skip a single dose of a vaccine for a variety of reasons. For example, parents may file for a religious vaccine exemption to exempt out of vaccines that are created using aborted fetal cells. Some parents may choose to exempt their child from vaccination for certain diseases that are seen as common childhood illnesses, such as Varicella (aka Chickenpox) or diseases that children have a low risk of transmitting such as Hepatitis B which is primarily spread through IV drug use and unprotected sex.
- This detailed information about which vaccines and how many doses a parent is exempting from is not available to us when simply looking at exemption rates as a whole. It is absolutely incorrect to assume exemption rates are the same as vaccination rates.
We also wish the author, Mr. Monies, would have reached out to us as he has in the past.
KFOR decided to write a follow up report and they DID reach out to OKHPR.
“The devil is in the details. That doesn’t mean they’re unvaccinated. That just means that they filed an exemption and they have not taken one of the doses of the many,” said Liza Greve, executive director for Oklahomans for Health & Parental Rights.
Liza Greve with Oklahomans for Health and Parental Rights said more parents are picking and choosing what vaccines their children receive.”
The original article from The Oklahoman does mention recent court decisions that forced Mississippi to now offer a religious exemption stating, “Mississippi has had one of the South’s lowest vaccination-exemption rates, but a recent federal court injunction ordered state officials to offer a religious exemption.”
This is thanks to organizations such as ICAN.
ICAN’s attorneys, led by Aaron Siri, secured a historic and critical win, where a federal court ruled that the First Amendment requires that, by July 15, 2023, the State of Mississippi afford its residents a religious exemption for their children to attend school without one or more state mandated vaccines! Before this ruling, Mississippi was one of only six states that did not have a religious exemption for students to attend school.
ICAN is now litigating the same in both West Virginia and New York. ICAN is also funding upcoming lawsuits to secure religious exemptions in the remaining holdout states (Maine, California, and Connecticut)! This will cover every U.S. state in an attempt to secure a religious exemption from vaccination for every K-12 student across our nation like they did in Mississippi.
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