COVID-19 vaccine could meet resistance in Oklahoma
When a coronavirus vaccine becomes available in the United States, the federal government and states will face a crucial choice: Should all or most residents be required to get the novel coronavirus vaccine?
Or should it be required only for school children, with a medical exception allowed, and for groups like front-line health-care workers? Some officials might want few or no requirements at all because they think enough people are likely to get the vaccine voluntarily or have immunity from an infection to halt the spread of the disease.
But in states like Oklahoma, efforts to require and promote the vaccine could run into strong headwinds.
Anti-vaccine activists are vocal and influential in the state, spurred on by a national movement. It’s one reason Oklahoma is one of only 15 states, including Texas and Arkansas, that allow parents to cite personal reasons to exempt their children from immunizations required by schools and day-care centers. They fill out and turn in a form. All states grant exemptions for medical reasons, and 45 states plus Washington, D.C., allow exemptions for religious objections.
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