Oklahoma experts discuss lack of vaccinations

OKLAHOMA - The mumps outbreak in Enid surprised a lot of people in the state but not one group of doctors who said they saw warning signs.

“The outbreak in Enid came directly from an outbreak in Arkansas,” said Dr. Thomas Kuhls, an expert in childhood vaccinations. “It initially started in unvaccinated individuals and, so, for that reason, if everyone would have been vaccinated, I don't think the mumps epidemic would have occurred.”

Vaccines have become a hot political issue.

It's a battle with people on both sides who are very passionate.

Oklahoma lawmakers passed a bill last session that would have made the number of children not getting vaccines skyrocket.

The bill was vetoed by the governor, but Kuhls said legislation like that is a real threat to your child's safety.

“They passed a bill that said that you had to have a 34 page nonsense appendix b with every vaccine, which would be a huge barrier and, because that passed, that was the real stimulus, to say we're not going to allow that to happen again.”

The doctor knows not everyone agrees with his mission, but he said “Our job is to make sure the legislature understands we can't have anti-vaccine laws and, if anything, we need to increase the strength of our vaccine laws.”