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Parents rally in Medford to oppose Oregon's vaccine exemption bill



Parents from as far away as Ashland and Eagle Point rallied at Pear Blossom Park in Medford Saturday to show their opposition to a vaccine bill going through the Oregon legislature.

Organizers held speeches, had parents sign a petition to lawmakers and then marched through downtown streets with homemade signs.

Under state law, all children in public and private schools, preschools, head start and certified child care facilities must be up to date

If Oregon State House Bill 3063 passed away, it would have put Oregon's non-medical vaccination exemptions for public and private schools.

Last year, a total of 4,349 children were kept out of school or child care in Oregon. Until the 201

7-2018 school year, Jackson and Josephine Counties were the second and third least of the school year. ccinated counties for K-12 education statewide, both with rates at 89%.

Anna Waters came from Eagle Point with her husband and two young boys to rally with homemade signs.

"We believe the state is overreaching to dictate "Waters said.

Medford mother of two, Carrie Miller said her son is on the autism spectrum. Her 7 year-old daughter Riley hasn't had a vaccination since she was an infant and Miller believes she's healthier because of it.

"Where there is risk there has to be choice that is how medicine works and that's how the world works," Miller said.

Miller believes it's wrong for the state to make the choice for her and here family.

"This bill takes away our choice. We live in America. This is supposed to be the country of the free, the country of choice," Miller said.

According to Jackson County, the community has 93 percent complete vaccination rate, but that there were "pockets" in the community where that number was much lower than Ashland.

"From a medical standpoint, vaccines are probably the most powerful and effective public health intervention of all time," Shames said.

found on the Center for Disease Control website.

HB 3063 comes after the recent measles outbreak in northern Oregon and southern Washington that left dozens of people sickened.

Retired physician, author and filmmaker Dr. Rick Kirchner spoke at the rally in Medford and said a handful of cases of measles is a fake crisis

"It's not a crisis. There is no epidemic. The public health measures are clearly working," Kirschner said.

Kirschner said he was infected with the measles along with his siblings and the whole at his school when he was a child.

"We loved it. We got to stay home from school and read comic books," Kirschner said . "The only winners of this bill are the medical distribution system for the pharmaceutical industry." Kirschner said. "We don't create segregated minorities because of their vaccine status. These are health kids."


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