Ore. Legislature approves vaccine education bill

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Legislature has passed a bill that would make it more difficult for parents to send their children to school without vaccines.

The state House approved the bill 45-15 on Wednesday. It now goes to Gov. John Kitzhaber and a spokeswoman said he intends to sign it.

The bill would require parents to consult a physician about vaccines or watch an educational video before refusing immunizations for their children.

Oregon has the nation’s highest rate of parents refusing vaccinations for their kindergartners.

Supporters say the rate of unvaccinated children is too high, and is a public health concern. Opponents say the measure infringes on parental rights.

The bill sparked a partisan debate in the Senate but passed easily in the House following emotional testimony from two Republican lawmakers.

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