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Join the herd: Vaccinate and save lives

Measles vaccine
"Vaccines are incredible shields that protect us and save lives." (Getty Images)

We live in communities that care about keeping kids safe.

In medical school, I learned vaccines teach our immune systems to fight off infections before we get exposed to those diseases, which means they make us stronger. Unfortunately, as fewer people are vaccinated, the risk of outbreaks of these serious and preventable diseases grows, putting the most vulnerable at risk — babies, people with cancer and anyone with a weakened immune system.

With House Bill 3063 we have a chance to protect our children and communities. This bill would eliminate all non-medical exemptions from vaccinations, meaning that the only unvaccinated children in our public schools would be those who had a medical reason for not receiving vaccines.

As a pediatrician, vaccines are one of the few things I recommend without hesitation. Vaccines have made and continue to make our communities safer. The misinformation spread about this incredible, life-saving tool has led many loving and well-intentioned families to decline vaccines; this breaks my heart. Vaccines are incredible shields that protect us and save lives.

Go to to find your legislators. Tell them to vote yes on HB 3063. They need to hear all our voices saying loudly that we want to protect our children and that we care about making Oregon a safer place to live.

Alanna Braun, M.D., is an assistant professor of pediatrics at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

This viewpoint was originally published March 1, 2019 on The Oregonian/

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