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Health Care, Child Advocacy Groups Laud Stitt Support for New Vaccine Rules

Oklahoma City, June 26, 2020 - Governor Stitt signed new agency rules yesterday evening, including an upgrade to Oklahoma’s vaccine rules. Health Department Rule 535 will require parents to receive information about vaccines prior to getting a non-medical vaccine exemption for a minor child. 

The rules were passed in an effort to combat misinformation about vaccines frequently shared on social media. 

A statewide poll conducted late last year by conservative pollster Chris Wilson showed 96% of Oklahomans believe vaccines are safe and effective at preventing disease. More information regarding that poll is available here.

The following individuals and organizations have issued the statements below in response to the rule change and the governor’s approval of that change. I hope you will consider using these statements in your coverage of this important topic: 

“We applaud Governor Stitt for signing these life-saving rules. That being said, we know our work is not done and we stand ready to defend against any efforts to roll back or weaken these rules in the future,” said Oklahoma State Medical Association President George Monks.

"We’re thrilled with Governor Stitt’s decision to support the proposed changes to Health Department Rule 535. This rule prioritizes children's health by providing medically sound information about vaccines to parents while preserving parent choice. This is a win for Oklahoma kids,” said Jacqueline McDaniel, executive director of the Oklahoma Alliance for Healthy Families.

“The governor’s action helps protect countless children today and generations yet unborn from preventable diseases,” said Joe Dorman, CEO of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. “His approval of the Health Department’s rules means Oklahoma families get accurate information about childhood vaccines so they can make informed choices about their children’s health.”

“The Oklahoma Academy of Family Physicians would like to thank Gov. Stitt for signing the Oklahoma State Health Department immunization rules yesterday that will provide factual immunization information to parents, allow for accurate record keeping and will not change parental choice regarding vaccination of children for public school attendance. We appreciate the opportunity to continue to be part of the team working to improve the health of Oklahoma's children.”

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