New proposed bill would order Oklahoma parents to vaccinate their children
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A group of parents and advocates against vaccines are urging an Oklahoma lawmaker to drop a bill, which would require parents to vaccinate their children.
"It's not the necessary thing right now. And, it's just taking rights away from parents, and parents know their kids a lot better than our government does," said Carmen Lindner.
Oklahomans for Vaccine and Health Choice rallied Wednesday, demanding to find out what's inside of vaccines.
"We believe in informed consent. We should know what the advantages of vaccines and what the dangers vaccines are. And, vaccines are dangerous," said Del Bigtree.
The group believes vaccines can cause cognitive disabilities like autism and can even lead to death.
Health experts said dangerous side effects from vaccines are rare.
"We shouldn't be forced into a vaccine program, where we know that some of these vaccines injure children," Bigtree said.
However, Sen. Ervin Yen's bill would mandate all Oklahoma students get their shots.
It would also do away with part of the current law that allows parents to sign an exemption without any religious or medical reason.
"I just hope it doesn't take a big outbreak where people, children die. We like to get it done before that," Yen said.
He agrees parents' rights are being violated, but he said it is not because of his bill.
"What about the rights of parents to send their child to school that has an immune disease? What about their rights to have that kid go to school and not be exposed to a highly contagious disease that could kill them? What about those parents' rights?" Yen told NewsChannel 4 in 2016.
Health experts said, when people opt out of vaccines, 'herd immunity' take a hit and puts others at risk.
This is the senator's third shot at the bill, and he said he has no plans to stop.
"Because, it's the right thing to do. And, I will always try to do this until it's done, and it will be done," he said.
Yen said there were more than 300 cases of the mumps in Oklahoma this past year – many vaccinated, which could impact the decision this legislative session.