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Northwest Lawmakers Debate Vaccine Exemptions


Northwest lawmakers are considering whether to make it harder for parents to opt out of immunizing their children.

In Oregon Monday, opponents of a bill that would remove all non-medical exemptions rallied on the steps of the state capitol.

Some at the rally said they weren't opposed to vaccines, per se. What they really resent is the idea that the state would require most parents to vaccinate their children in order to attend school.

Noelle Caro of Medford said she doesn't want the government involved in her family's medical decisions.

"We have a healthy child and we're not worried about anything,” she said. “We feel like the risk far outweighs the benefit of it. So that's why we made our choice."

Families can opt out by watching a video or talking to a doctor and signing a form. But some lawmakers want to limit exemptions to those approved by a doctor.

The bill is currently in committee. A sponsor says it's not clear whether there are enough votes for it to move forward.