Anti-vaccine billboards pop up around Spokane

Anti-vaccine billboards pop up around Spokane
A billboard along East Trent Avenue in Spokane Valley asks parents to think twice before vaccinating their children.

Several new billboards around the Spokane area are asking people to think twice before vaccinating their children.

Informed Choice Washington, the non-profit which paid for the billboards wants a new state law, which limits vaccine exemptions, reversed. ICW said on their website they are not spreading misinformation, instead providing the missing information on vaccines.

The non-profit does not deny the fact that vaccines are commonly used to prevent diseases, but they argue vaccines do pose a risk to some people and that exemptions are a fundamental right.

Under a new state law, parents can no longer exempt children from the Measles Mumps and Rubella vaccine because of personal or philosophical beliefs. Medical and religious exemptions are still allowed.

The new law is a response to the measles outbreak in Washington and around the country. The CDC reports since January, more than 1200 cases of measles have been confirmed in the U.S. More than 80 of them are in Washington state.

Data from the Washington State Department of Health shows about 8 percent of students in Spokane County have some sort of exemption — it’s unclear how the new law will impact that percentage once school starts.

Informed Choice Washington argues not all vaccines are 100 percent safe or effective. The non-profit points out the fact that a Seattle nurse, who was vaccinated, got measles from an infected patient this summer.

According to the CDC, the measles vaccine is about 97 percent effective. The CDC says the odds of having life-threatening complications from a vaccine are about one in 1,000,000. The risk of dying from measles is one in 1,000.