NVIC Defends Vaccine Exemptions

Posted: 1/26/2012 3:21:47 PM | with 7 comments
ALERT: Colorado Proposes Flu Shot Mandate for Healthcare Workers
The Colorado Board of Health will hold their final hearing on February 15th on whether or not to adopt a new rule that would mandate healthcare workers get an annual flu vaccine. There is NO religious or personal exemption in the current version of the rule, despite the fact that these exemptions are available to schoolchildren. Time is running out and comments must be received by Feb. 1st, 2012. Learn more here
Read NVIC’s statement opposing proposed federal recommendations for flu shot mandates for health care workers here.
NVIC Helps Families in FL, KS, MS, VT Protect Vaccine Choices
On Thursday Virginia’s House began legislative measures to repeal the state’s HPV mandate. Currently residents of West Virginia can only obtain a medical exemption for vaccination.  A new bill introduced would expand exemptions to religious and conscientious reasons.  Parents in Kansas and Vermont are also fighting for vaccine exemption rights, along with those in Florida and Mississippi. Below are more state legislative alerts where families have an opportunity to make their voices heard!
NVIC’s free online Advocacy Portal is tracking it all and keeping people up-to-date on threats to vaccine exemption rights in their state. To learn more, click here.

Date Posted
Oppose SB1116 and HB1051 which push HPV vaccine on FL 6th graders
Contact HHS Committee Members to Support Conscientious Exemption Bill HB 2094
Contact Legislators to Support SB2007 which expands the Medical Exemption to Mandatory Vaccination
Support HB 1112 Repeal of HPV Vaccine Mandate for Female Children
Oppose S 199, a bill to ELIMINATE philosophical exemptions
Oppose, H527, a bill to ELIMANATE philosophical exemptions in Vermont

NJ & OSHA Reject Flu Shot Mandates for Healthcare Workers
New Jersey’s Governor Christie pocket vetoed a bill that would mandate flu vaccine for health care workers.  The governor used the pocket veto, which is the only way to veto a bill without returning it to the legislature for a possible vote to override the veto. Thanks to Rita Marie who posted this information on NVIC’s FaceBook wall. You can thank Governor Christie for his decisive action and NOT SIGNING this bill at (609) 777-2500 or (609) 292-6000.
OSHA Says “No” to Flu Shot Mandates Without Exemptions
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a statement opposing mandatory flu shots for health care workers that do not contain exemptions for medical, religious and persona/philosophical belief reasons. OSHA stated:

     “ While we are supportive of the Healthy People 2020 goal of a 90% vaccination rate, we have seen no evidence that demonstrates that such a high rate is in fact necessary. Furthermore, the current influenza vaccine is no magic bullet. The current state of influenza vaccine technology requires annual reformulation and revaccination and the efficacy is quite variable. Every year there are numerous circulating strains of influenza that are not included in the vaccine. In years where the antigenic match is good, the vaccine only provides protection against the 3 strains in the formulation. In years when the antigenic match is poor, the vaccine may provide no protection at all. The limits of current influenza vaccine technology are especially problematic in the context of a mandatory influenza vaccination program that results in job loss. Lastly, reliance on a mandatory influenza vaccination policy may provide healthcare workers, health care facility management and patients with an unwarranted sense of security and result in poor adherence to other infection control practices that prevent all types of infections, not just influenza. Influenza vaccination has always been just one part of a comprehensive multi-layered infection control program.”  

OSHA’s complete position statement was submitted to the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) last September and appears in the NVAC's certified minutes as Appendix B on page 25 here

NVIC in the Community
Feb. 2 - Talk at Portland Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 PM: NVIC Co-founder & President Barbara Loe Fisher will give a presentation on “Vaccination: The Right to Know & Freedom to Choose” at the Newmark Theatre, Portland Center for the Performing Arts. Sponsored by Devine Chiropractic with all ticket proceeds donated to support NVIC’s public education programs. Tickets for $15 available at the door or on Ticketmaster.
Feb. 7 & 8 – Meeting of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC)The NVAC will meet to discuss and vote on recommendations to mandate that health care workers receive annual flu shots. These meetings are open to the public via telephone/webinar and can be attended in person in Washington D.C. Meeting details are posted in the Federal Register and pre-registration is required for public attendance, webinar, and public comments.
Written comments must be submitted at least five business days in advance to nvpo@hhs.gov and verbal comments periods are noted on the agenda and are welcomed. This meeting of the NVAC requires separate registration for the accompanying webinar for Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 and toll-free phone numbers and passcodes will be generated for each day when registering for the webinars. 
NVIC strongly encourages our readers, particularly those who are health care providers, to submit their written comments to the NVAC and/or offer verbal public comment during the meeting on Feb. 7.  NVIC has submitted a written statement to the NVAC opposing any mandate that doesn’t provide medical, religious and personal belief exemptions for health care workers. NVIC's statement and our website contain information that will be helpful to our readers as they consider submitting, or giving, public comment.  NVIC’s Executive Director, Theresa Wrangham will be on line to make NVIC’s public comment.
Feb. 9 IOM Meeting On Vaccine Study Feasibility: The Institute of Medicine’s new Committee on Assessment of Studies of Health Outcomes Related to the Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule will conduct an independent assessment surrounding the feasibility of studying health outcomes in children who were vaccinated according to the CDC recommended schedule and those who were not (e.g. children who were unvaccinated or vaccinated with an alternate schedule). The meeting is being held from 11a.m. to 5 p.m. ET at the Pew Charitable Trust in Washington, D.C. and is open to the public with off-site phone access. A public perspective on the proposed study will be offered at 1 p.m. by NVIC’s president. Click here for latest information and to register.
The Health and Medical Division (HMD) of the National Academies (formerly IOM) committee will
 1) Review scientific findings and stakeholder concerns related to the safety of the recommended childhood immunization schedule;
2) Identify potential research approaches, methodologies, and study designs that could inform this question, including an assessment of the potential strengths and limitations of each approach, methodology and design, as well as the financial and ethical feasibility of doing them;
3) Issue a report summarizing their findings.
Radio & Blog Conversations About Pediatricians Firing Families: NVIC President, Barbara Loe Fisher, was interviewed on KWMR Radio about pediatricians firing parents from their practices for not following the AAP recommended vaccination schedule. She talked about individual susceptibility to vaccine reactions, injury and death and how important it is for parents to find a pediatrician, who will treat them with respect and be a partner, not an adversary, in making informed vaccination decisions for children. Below are links to the radio interview and blog conversations about pediatricians refusing to care for children if they have not gotten every dose of every AAP recommended vaccine.
The Parent Talk Program – KWMR Radio, January 22nd
Should Pediatricians Be Able to “Fire” Parents? – Baby Gizmo Blog (Mom’s Best Friend) – January 11th
Pediatricians dump vax-hesitant parents - Babes' Blog, January 4th
NVIC Website Highlight – The Vaccine Ingredient Calculator
By Theresa Wrangham, NVIC Executive Director
It is always exciting to share with our readers enhancements to our website. Over the past year we have changed our look to make your access to life-saving information easier. During 2012 there will be many enhancements that I will be sharing with you and I invite your feedback!
This month I want to share with you all the enhancements made to the Vaccine Ingredient Calculator (VIC) made by NVIC’s Volunteer Director of Database Management, Chris Downey, MS. Chris devotes many hours to improving the VIC’s features and keeping all the information on vaccine ingredients up-to-date.
As many of our veteran readers know, the VIC is meant to be used as an educational planning tool providing parents with easy access to information like ingredients contained in vaccines, federal safety guidelines that apply to ingredients and more to assist in the decision-making process.
When my children were young, I made many assumptions about the vaccines that were administered to them. For example, I didn’t know that for many vaccine ingredients there are no established safety limits. The VIC covers 16 ingredients contained in the vaccines recommended by the CDC's childhood immunization schedule.
The VIC computes exposures to aluminum, bovine protein, egg protein, formaldehyde, mercury (Thimerosal), mouse protein, phenol red, phenoxyethanol, polysorbate 80 and yeast protein contained in the vaccines recommended by the CDC for children. Parents can select the vaccines scheduled to be administered ahead of their scheduled appointments and learn which vaccine ingredients have safety limits, what those limits are and if a vaccine(s) given at any one time will exceed those safety limits. The VIC will also print your vaccination plan and provides a post vaccination record for parents to retain.
Enhancements that Chris has programmed into the VIC over the past year include: 
  • Facebook integration;
  • Improved dropdown displays for vaccine ingredients;
  • Human Protein and DNA computation;
  • Beta feature – Chart Explain, which provides details on vaccine ingredients;
  • New Quick View for DTaP and Influenza vaccines, which provide an overview chart of all ingredients in these vaccines;
  • Follow @VaxCalc on Twitter to stay up-to-date on what we’re learning as we continue to improve the VIC;
  • Added VIC Testimonials
  • New articles added to the Learning and Resource Centers;
We hope that these enhancements are helpful and that our readers will pass this information on to new parents considering vaccination.
Chris is working on further expanding the VIC in 2012 and looking for more ideas on what new features you would like to see. He could also use some assistance from experienced software and database developers, as well as beta testers. We are specifically looking for somebody with HTML5/JS/CSS3 skills. If you have a suggestion, or would be willing to help develop future improvement of the VIC, please email VaccineCalc@gmail.com.  
Next month I will tell you more about MedAlerts, which is another unique vaccine education feature of NVIC’s website.  
In The News

Study Finds Link Between Aluminum Adjuvant Toxicity & Autoimmunity“Immune challenges during early development, including those vaccine-induced, can lead to permanent detrimental alterations of the brain and immune function. Experimental evidence also shows that simultaneous administration of as little as two to three immune adjuvants can overcome genetic resistance to autoimmunity. In some developed countries, by the time children are 4 to 6 years old, they will have received a total of 126 antigenic compounds along with high amounts of aluminum (Al) adjuvants through routine vaccinations. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, safety assessments for vaccines have often not included appropriate toxicity studies because vaccines have not been viewed as inherently toxic.” Tomljenovic L, Shaw CA. Mechanisms of aluminum adjuvant toxicity and autoimmunity in pediatric populations. Lupus. (February 2012). 
Influenza Vaccine Investigator Guilty of Research Fraud - The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has published findings from the General Medical Council (GMC) that found Dr. Iain Stephenson guilty of forging colleagues’ signature, asking a nurse to falsify a declaration, destroying log sheets and recruiting himself into a study under a false name.  As a result, the GMC has suspended Dr. Stephenson for four months. Read the BMJ article here, courtesy of the One-Click Group. 
Congress Withdraws SOPA, PIPA Anti-Piracy Measures - PIPA and SOPA were stopped in Congress thanks to HUGE protests from Google, Wikipedia and other internet based companies that mobilized consumer grassroots communication with Congress. SOPA and PIPA would have censored the First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech, which is greatly valued by our readers. Read more here.

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NVIC’s Advocacy Portal 2011 Recap and 2012 Expectations

Posted: 1/18/2012 6:54:06 PM | with 1 comments
In its debut legislative session to expand and protect the right to informed consent, NVIC’s Advocacy Portal (NVICAP) now has about 20,000 consumers from all 50 states working to protect and expand vaccine exemption. 

The portal was launched as a free public service program of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) in response to the increasingly aggressive actions of the government and medical and pharmaceutical industries to require more vaccines while simultaneously attempting to restrict the use of conscientious or philosophical, religious, and medical exemptions to mandatory vaccination laws. 

In 2011, we saw the most aggressive attempts to restrict informed consent to vaccination that we have ever seen. In response, our volunteer state directors used the NVICAP to track 61 bills in 25 states that affect informed consent to vaccination, provide support for bills filed to add conscientious or philosophical exemptions in six states, and to issue more than 70 bill status announcements and action alerts to NVIC Advocacy Portal users in 18 states.
Bills to Expand Exemptions
In six states, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia, bills were filed to expand exemptions to allow parents the ability decline vaccines for school entry.  In Connecticut and Montana bills were filed to expand exemptions for daycare.  While none of these bills were passed due to heavy resistance by forced vaccination proponents, there have never been this many states seeking to expand vaccine exemptions at one time.  This demonstrates Americans’ desire for vaccine freedom. 

Some defensive successes included actions taken by NVICAP members in Wyoming that stopped a meningitis vaccine mandate, member efforts in Texas killed a bill designed change the vaccine tracking registry from opt-in to opt-out, and our Colorado members stopped a pre-emptive attempt to limit vaccine exemptions by rule.
Grassroots Efforts Bring Change and Prepare Consumers for Action
NVIC advocacy team members were supported by NVIC’s Advocacy Portal in a major fight against a bill limiting the personal belief exemption in Washington by requiring a health care practitioner signature on the exemption form. We were able to help recruit and coach more than 90 families to attend the hearing and register against the bill. While we were unable to stop the bill, the pressure created by these grassroots efforts changed the language of the final bill and increased the number of our Washington advocates to over 1,000. 

In California we waged a battle against HPV vaccines for minors without parental consent and gained over 2,000 new members and 2 new directors leaving us better prepared in that state with an infrastructure of informed and committed members.
Benefits of NVIC’s Advocacy Portal
Portal members enjoy easy access to their elected officials with direct links that connect our members to their legislators. Personalized member pages display their state team page and current legislative action alerts and bills to watch.  By coupling easy step-by-step action items along with easy access to elected officials, our members are empowered and encouraged to become involved in the process and make a difference.
What to Expect in 2012
In 2012, our members can expect even more aggressive actions against our rights than in 2011.  We expect even more legislative attempts to restrict or remove existing vaccine exemptions, more vaccine mandates for school children, and expanded government vaccine tracking.  We also expect more attempts to pass laws supporting sanctions and job termination against employees for refusing vaccination.
In order to increase our effectiveness in protecting and expanding our rights, we need more Advocacy Team Members in each state. 
Legislative sessions are starting around the country, and we are starting 2012 with our feet running. Below are bills that we are already tracking and alerting our readers to take action on so that they can defend their informed consent rights.
Current Action Alerts
Date Posted
Oppose SB1116 and HB1051 which push HPV vaccine on FL 6th graders
Contact HHS Committee Members to Support Conscientious Exemption Bill HB 2094
Calls needed to the Governor ASAP - VETO A3920/S2984
Oppose, H527, a bill to ELIMINATE philosophical exemptions in Vermont
Oppose S 199, a bill to ELIMINATE philosophical exemptions
Current Legislation Being Tracked 

Bill Number
SB 144
Temporarily reinstates child and adult immunization program
HB 2383
Prohibits vaccination as a condition of admission to college in Arizona
SB 1116
HPV vaccine to be added to Dept. of Health Recommendations
HB 1051
HPV Vaccine to be added to the Dept. of Health Recommendations
SB 223
A bill concerning changes to the Indiana Immunization Registry
HB 2094
Adds Conscientious Exemption to State-Mandated Immunizations
HB 347
Requires physicians to notify parent/guardian of minor 12 years or younger after treatment given
Makes obtaining religious exemption more cumbersome
Hepatitis B vaccine Exemption
Provides for conscientious exemption to mandatory immunizations
Eliminates use of vaccines containing mercury over three years
Turns schools into Meningitis Vaccine Marketers
Extends the protections of the medical exemption from mandatory immunizations
H 4497
Bill to offer HPV Vaccine to 7th graders
HB 824
Requires the Commonwealth of VA to assume all liability for injury caused by HPV Vaccine
HB 829
Concerns the Virginia Immunization Information System
HB 65
Removes HPV Vaccine from school vaccine requirements
H 527
ELIMINATES philosophical exemptions in Vermont
S 199
ELIMINATES Philosophical Exemption in Vermont
SB 50
Adds Conscientious and Religious Exemptions to the state of West Virginia

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Philosophical Exemption Under Attack in Vermont

Posted: 1/18/2012 11:21:33 AM | with 5 comments

NVIC's Vaccine Awareness Ad Running in Times Square - 1/14/12! 
Photo Credit - John Gilmore

NVIC Issues Call to Action to Defend Informed Consent Rights
There is a serious threat to the philosophical exemption to vaccination in Vermont. Two bills (S.199 and H. 527) backed by 15 legislators in the Vermont state House and Senate propose to eliminate the philosophical exemption to vaccination for children attending school or college.
Vermont – The Healthiest State!
Vermont is one of 18 states in the U.S. that allows a philosophical, personal or conscientious belief exemption to vaccination. Vermont is ranked first as the “healthiest” state, according to America’s Health Rankings and has a low infectious disease rate. States that currently have a philosophical/conscientious belief exemption are: CA, ID, WA, MI, UT, AZ, MN, WI, OH, CO, NM, ND, OK, TX, AR, LA, ME and VT.
Pharma/Medical Trade Lobby Moving Fast
“We know that the Pharma/Medical Trade Association lobby is planning to mount an all-out effort this year to persuade state legislators to strip philosophical/conscientious belief exemptions to vaccination from state public health laws. NVIC is calling on all concerned citizens and organizations in the state of Vermont – and every state – to get involved and take action to protect the right to voluntary, informed consent to vaccination in America,” said NVIC co-founder and president, Barbara Loe Fisher.
Free NVIC Advocacy Portal Connects People & Legislators
NVIC’s free, online Advocacy Portal informs citizens in real-time about legislative attacks on vaccine exemptions and puts Portal users in immediate contact with their own legislators with a touch of a keypad or cell phone screen. Portal users receive Action Alerts notifying them of bills threatening vaccine exemptions moving in their states, as well as tips on how to talk to legislators and be pro-active in making sure elected officials understand their concerns. The Portal was designed with this personalized approach because a personal letter, email, phone call or visit from a constituent is taken more seriously by a legislator and is the most effective way to get their attention.

Protect Your Informed Consent Rights!
“It just takes minutes of your time to send letters, emails, and phone calls to your state legislators so you can protect your informed consent rights,” said NVIC State Advocacy Director, Dawn Richardson, who designed and manages the unique online online communications network. “It can have a big impact on whether you will be able to make vaccine choices in your state. We have to go all-out this year because those trying to take exemptions away are politically powerful and have unlimited financial resources.”
Nationwide, there are about 20,000 users of the NVIC Advocacy Portal, which protects the privacy of users. The Portal was launched in November 2010 in response to aggressive, well-funded attempts by Pharma lobbyists to get Gardasil and other newly licensed vaccines added to state mandates, as well as to counter attacks by Pharma-funded medical trade organizations, like the American Academy of Pediatrics, lobbying to take away philosophical and religious exemptions to vaccination.

Medical Exemptions Refused, Children Put At Risk
The philosophical/conscientious belief exemption is especially important to preserve for families with histories of vaccine reactions, severe allergies and immune or brain disorders. Few doctors will write a medical exemption in America today because they must adhere to very narrow federal (CDC) guidelines defining what constitutes a medical reason to avoid vaccination rather than being allowed to make individual professional determinations about how to protect their patient’s health.
CDC’s one-size-fits-all recommendations for children to use 69 doses of 16 vaccines fail to recognize or respect increased individual susceptibility to vaccine adverse responses for genetic and other biological reasons. Individual susceptibility was acknowledged by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in the 2011 report on Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality. The IOM found that, out of 158 serious brain and immune system disorders reportedly associated with eight different commonly used vaccines, there were either no studies or too few methodologically sound studies to make a causation determination either way for 135 (85%) of them.
NVIC continues to get many reports that sick and disabled children and adult health care workers with histories of vaccine reactions are being forced to get re-vaccinated because doctors refuse to write medical exemptions. Some of these reports on posted on NVIC’s Vaccine Freedom Wall.

Pharma/Medical Lobby Moving Fast
Last year, the wealthy Pharma/Medical Trade lobby persuaded state legislators in Washington state to pass a law requiring parents to obtain the signature of an M.D. or other state designated health care professional in order to file a philosophical or religious belief exemption to vaccination. The same politically powerful lobby persuaded legislators in California to pass a law allowing children as young as 12 years old to be vaccinated with Gardasil and hepatitis B vaccines and all future vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases, without the knowledge or informed consent of their parents.

Pharma and Doctors Have No Liability
What many legislators may not know is that vaccine manufacturers, as well as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other vaccine administrators, are completely shielded by Congress from civil liability when children or adults injured or die after vaccination. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court said that pharmaceutical corporations have no liability even if they could have made a safer vaccine.

Register Now For NVIC Advocacy Portal
Registering to use NVIC’s Advocacy Portal is quick, easy and free! To become a user, click here and take action to protect vaccine freedom in your state. To learn more, read a summary of NVIC Advocacy Portal activities in 2011 and plans for 2012. 

NVIC Defends Health Worker’s Informed Consent Rights
Federal Committee Recommends Forced Flu Vaccination
In a strongly worded statement, NVIC’s president and executive director outlined reasons for opposing draft recommendations by a National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) subcommittee that would allow employers to force U.S. health care workers to get annual flu shots without their voluntary, informed consent or be fired: “NVIC does not support these recommendations or any coercive government or employment policy, which condones the use of harassment and threat of denial of employment or job dismissal as a club to force health care workers with medical, religious or conscientious belief objections to get annual flu shots.”
Influenza Vaccine Not Most Effective, Safe Flu Prevention Method
NVIC’s statement to NVAC contains referenced information about the lack of scientific evidence that influenza vaccine is the most effective and safe way to prevent influenza, including in medical settings. NVIC also pointed out that a majority of polled subcommittee members personally supported either no influenza vaccine requirements or the inclusion of medical, religious and philosophical exemptions.

Read NVIC’s statement opposing flu shot mandates for health care workers with live links to referenced information.
If you have been harassed or threatened for making independent vaccine choices, consider posting a report on NVIC’s Vaccine Freedom Wall.
In the News
New Thriller Novel Spotlights Vaccine Safety Debate - Vaccine Nation, by best selling thriller author, David Lender, is a new, fast-paced action novel that dramatizes the national debate over vaccine safety. Now available in both E-book, paperback and audio through Amazon, the book brings to life the crisis of trust haunting America’s one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination program. In the tradition of Six Days of the Condor and Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, it both entertains and makes you think. Even though the characters are fictional, the storyline involving drug companies protected from liability and doctors covering up vaccine injuries rings true.

Author David Lender drew from his 25-year experience on Wall Street and the knowledge of his wife, Manette Loudon, who was a director/producer for the 2008 documentary film, Vaccine Nation. Lender lists NVIC in the book’s Acknowledgements as among the information sources he relied upon for facts to anchor points made by the novel’s characters about why vaccines and vaccine policies are not nearly safe enough. In a recent online interview David talks about his reasons for writing a page-turning thriller that is both thought-provoking and fun to read.
Dr. Oz Interviews Dr. Mercola & Agree to Disagree - In a free-ranging interview that featured topics including the safety and effectiveness of statins, anti-depressants, tanning beds and flu shots, on his Jan. 4 ABC-TV show Dr. Mehmet Oz introduced Dr. Joseph Mercola as one of America’s “most controversial” doctors. Dr. Mercola, who founded one of the largest health websites on the internet and urges people to “take control” of their health, talks about how high levels of vitamin D are essential to staying well and why the influenza vaccine is not the most effective or safe way to prevent the flu. Since 2008, Mercola.com and NVIC have partnered to publish written and video information about health and vaccination for the public.
Can B Vitamins Boost Your Memory? -  Older adults who took vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements for two years had greater improvements on short- and long-term memory tests than adults who did not take the vitamins, according to the results of a new study from Australia.
The benefits were modest, but encouraging, indicating that the vitamins "may have an important role in promoting healthy ageing and mental wellbeing, as well as sustaining good cognitive functioning for longer on a community-wide scale," Janine Walker, the lead author of the study and a researcher at Australian National University, told Reuters Health. Kerry Grens, Reuters/Huffington Post, Jan. 6.

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