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Oregon Law Toughens Vaccine Exemption Process

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Efforts to ban “personal exemptions” to vaccine requirements failed in Northwest states this past session. But under a new Oregon law, parents who want to keep their kids vaccine-free will have a tougher time.

“For students who had an old, what we called ‘religious exemption,’ those are no longer valid, so parents have a couple of options,” explained Stacy de Assis Matthews, the Oregon Health Authority’s school law coordinator.

Either vaccinate your child or go through mandatory vaccine education to qualify for the new exemption. For that, parents have to either watch a video online or get an education certificate at a doctor’s office.

This process started for new students last year, but after a bill passed in Salem this past session, it applies to everyone.

The new law also requires schools to report vaccination information to OHA, but the data won’t be available until the end of the school year.