Vaccines work.

That’s not just the opinion of credible medical experts. It’s also the opinion of an overwhelming number of Oklahomans, most of whom don’t want the state to make it easy for parents to avoid inoculations for preventable childhood diseases.

Last week, the Oklahoma Alliance for Healthy Families publicized an October telephone poll of 1,039 Oklahoma adults that found 96% believe vaccines are effective at preventing disease and 85% say their benefits outweigh risks.

Further, 71% oppose legislation that would loosen vaccination requirements, and 54% are against the state’s personal exemption that allows Oklahoma parents to opt out of vaccinating their children.

The poll was conducted by WPA Intelligence and was underwritten by BIO, a trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions and state biotech centers. The poll’s results were demographically weighted to reflect the state and have a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

While almost everyone believes that vaccinations prevent disease, they can’t work if you aren’t vaccinated.

Misled by junk science, too many Oklahoma parents refuse to have their children vaccinated, putting the children and others at risk of deadly and debilitating diseases such as measles, mumps and diphtheria.

State law enables these poor choices by allowing exemptions from the school vaccination mandate for virtually any undefined “personal” reason. Such a mandate isn’t a mandate; it’s a suggestion and a deadly failure of the state Legislature to protect innocent children from preventable diseases.

Science isn’t conducted by popularity contests, but in this case the voice of the people matches the voice of reason.

The Oklahoma Legislature needs to reflect the desires of the people of Oklahoma, who believe vaccinations are good science and good policy, and that public health is too important to be risked on the say-so of internet “science” and fear.

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