SB 254 Restricts Parents ability to decline Child Vaccinations

SB 254 VOTE: NO – Died In Committee
Status (overview) of bill:

This bill would have removed the ability of a parent to decline required immunizations against restrictable diseases. Will create a massive disparity of equity-based upon genetic disorders, and segregates children from their peers that will isolate them in a manner conducive to suicide, abuse, lack of access to food, and disproportionately affects lower-income households.

Personal Choice and Responsibility
Under current statutory provisions, children are the responsibility of the parent/guardian/ or familial unit until age 18. In the event of injury from a vaccine, the parent or guardian is responsible for life long care of the injured child/individual. Given that the consequences of vaccination belong solely to the familial unit, so should the choice to vaccinate. Removal of rights is not within the legislature’s ability or scope of authority. The legislatures sworn oath is to abide by the limitations set forth in accordance with the state’s social compact. Preservation of the common good begins with the preservation of individualized medical care. Whoever bears the burden of responsibility must also have full autonomy over choice. In addition, the bill creates a massive disparity of equity-based upon genetic disorders, and segregates children from their peers in a isolatory manner conducive to suicide, abuse, lack of access to food, and disproportionately affects lower-income households. According to data released by the Oregon Health Authority these measures are unnecessary and unwarranted to effectively achieve a level of vaccine-induced herd immunity, which already exists and is steadily climbing without legislative intervention. Furthermore, we see upon further analysis the gap of non-medical exemptions closes near middle and high school, taking the number of nonmedical exemptions down to less than 4 per average high school. Lastly, a significant wording change is presented adding “OR” Restrictable Disease, leaving this bill open to include the Flu, the COVID vaccines, and anything additional, once approved by the board this bill proposes to create which would bypass the current authority of both doctors and ISLAC. Given the lack of access to small family providers, due to COVID-19 restrictions, underserved communities would be at the highest risk for coercion and inappropriate informed consent via larger Coordinated Care Organizations and their internal policy vs patient medical history, and patient rights. Serious breaches of ethics, and informed consent result when the policy is placed above individualized care.

Fiscal Responsibility
It is estimated that approximately 36k children would be barred from attending public school, and sports programs, who rely on public assistance for food services, and special education. Due to distance learning failures, the state has experienced record unenrollment, resulting in a loss of revenue for future classes. The added expense of additional unenrollments <36k> could result in the loss of, as many as, one full-time teaching position per school across the state. Additionally, the out of pocket expense to families trying to cover IDD services, or specialized care and schooling, coupled with the loss of workforce employees and lost tax revenue, from parents forced to stay home is a burden to our most vulnerable communities, and family units. It is unclear what the additional cost to taxpayers will be for the additional board overseeing medical exemptions and vaccine recommendations. It’s also unclear at this time what the total cost or impacts of social isolation (if unenrolled) or injury (from lack of choice) will do to our mental health and medical care system. Studies indicate that vaccine injury and ethical violations of informed consent happen at higher rates within BIPOC communities. Where suicide due to social isolation occurs at higher rates amongst white and LGBTQ communities. Further study and analysis need to be carried out by OHA to determine the significant impacts of this bill to families receiving IDD services per ADA compliance. Additionally given the “relating to” clause, the opening line of “removes parent’s rights” must be amended to avoid civil litigation and further cost to the state.

Limited Government
The Governor will appoint members to the new board overseeing medical exemptions, the bill does not specify if the board will consist of healthcare professionals or not. Government is an inadequate substitute for the doctor-patient relationship, but there’s also a concern amongst healthcare providers of reprisals for issuance of medical exemptions after witnessing this exact bill pass in California, and the subsequent licensure revocations that occurred amongst doctors that issued medical exemptions to patients. Again this issue significantly and disproportionately affects rural and urban communities without adequate access to family care clinics or primary care doctors. There is a high correlation rate between non-medical exemptions and IEP’s, suggesting students on an IEP are the very same students incapable of continued vaccination on the ACIP schedule, yet medical exemptions, due to their narrow language do not apply. Given that the 2019 Legislative Body passed a bill recognizing PANS/PANDAS as an autoimmune disorder exacerbated by vaccines, and given the very high likelihood this bill would serve to kick children out of school it’s purporting to protect, due diligence must be performed by OHA to avoid unnecessary harm.

Local Control
Removes autonomy from schools, school districts, school boards, city and county elected officials to appropriately determine risk thresholds for communicable or restricted illnesses, or determine an appropriate response to the risk, even if that area is outbreak free. Conversely, the local level will suffer the most in terms of financial consequences, and emotional damage.

Free Markets
There is no COVID-19 vaccine currently approved by the FDA, while the American population has been enrolled into the stage 4 clinical trial, and the vaccine is not currently mandated for school attendance, Pfizer just announced that they have opened the trial to children ages 10-16. Once completed and approved this vaccine has been slated for addition to the ACIP schedule of childhood vaccines. Whereas the current list of childhood vaccines has no liability for injury, there is still a vaccine injury court for injury payouts. As difficult as this court is to navigate, it’s paid out 5 Billion in damages this far. The COVID-19 vaccines have been given complete immunity from any liability for injury or death. Making any vaccine a requirement for school attendance given the lack of choice over which brand, or product to use, and without remedy for injury, this bill removes fair market practices, and the free market incentive to create a better product.


  1. Kathleen Johnson says:

    In most cases, a parent knows what is best for his/her own child. This law would take away parents rights to make decisions for their own child. It is a way to disrupt families and should not be passed

  2. Breeauna Sagdal says:

    The medical exemption guidelines are so narrow that many Doctors have consulted patients to no longer vaccinate, after reactions and injury, yet cannot write a medical exemption due to the narrow guidelines. Doctors and Parents alike have relied on the religious and philosophical exemptions, to prevent further harm. The state should never come between the Doctor Patient relationship. Furthermore, in-person education has been established this year as a life line to students and families, why would any lawmaker make the conscience decision to deny that lifeline to a child?

  3. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

    If Parents refuse a Child’s Vaccination on Religious Grounds, The are Guaranteed that Right under the First Amendment of Our Bill of Rights in Our Constitution. In basis no different than attempting to Force A Catholic Child to eat Meat on a Friday in a Public School. The obvious reason All Public Schools Feed The Children Fish, or Cheese Sandwiches in the Cafeterias on Fridays.

  4. Michaela Hammerson says:

    How many adults are missing vaccinations from the current recommended schedule? If herd immunity is really the goal, why is there no initiative to catch up adults? It should be very concerning to everyone that a government is wanting to force medical decisions on our kids. We have no right to sue if our children are injured. Vaccine developers have no repercussions if their products cause injury.

    Instead of forcing vaccination, address the underlying cause of vaccine hesitancy. Repeal The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986.

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