Hundreds rally to fight for vaccine exemptions

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Parents fearing forced vaccinations rallied before today's hearing in Olympia, chanting, “Our children, our health, out right to choose!”

“Our kids are being injured at an alarming rate, and I refuse to, I refuse to put my new child at risk that way. My child has already been injured enough,” said a woman who would identify herself only as Amanda.

They are fighting Senate Bill 5841, which would stop parents from claiming a personal exemption to having their children vaccinated before attending a public school. The religious and medical exemptions would remain. It tightens exemptions not just for the measles vaccine, but for other required vaccines, like diphtheria and tetanus.

“The science is lacking. They are not doing the same standard of testing that every pharmaceutical goes through,” said Claire Wilbur.

This comes as the number of measles cases in our state rises to 64 with no end to the outbreak in sight.

Scroll down to continue reading

More news from KIRO 7


​“We are already in the fourth wave of folks that have been infected during this time period. With the recent cases over the weekend, the eight or nine cases that we had over the weekend we know we now have to wait 21 days to see if this outbreak is going to continue or not,” said Washington Health Secretary Dr. John Weisman.

866 people signed up to testify before the Senate Health Committee considering the law

“(There are) hundreds of thousands of data points of vaccinations literally over decades that show that vaccines are not only safe, but they are effective in reducing illness incidents,” said Dr. Robyn Rogers, of the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Gary Goldbaum showed a picture of his brother at the age of 2, when they both got polio before the polio vaccine was available.

“My memory is of a brother. He was a sweet kid, but he couldn't move his legs for a time.”

Rogers added, “There is a social contract that comes with living in a society and ultimately health policy needs to be evidence-based not emotion-based.”