Colorado Vaccine Bill Will Restrict Personal Belief Exemption - Take Action Now!

Posted: 2/25/2014 9:09:11 PM | with 18 comments
NVIC Denver Bus Ad
NVIC Colorado State Advocacy Director Cindy Loveland stands in front of one of the buses in the Denver historic district featuring an NVIC ad educating city residents and visitors about the need to make informed vaccine decisions. The ads ran from February to mid-May 2014.
As a resident of Colorado if you want to protect your right to take a personal belief exemption to vaccination for your child to attend daycare or school without suffering harassment from the state, you need to contact your state representative and senator today and make your voice heard on HB 1288. You also need to attend a public hearing in the Colorado House of Representatives House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee on Thursday, March 13th at 1:30 p.m. in Room 0107 of the State Capitol.

THE FACTS ABOUT HB 1288
:
 
Colorado House Bill 1288 (HB 1288) was introduced into the state House of Representatives by Representative Dan Pabon (D-District 4) on Feb. 20, 2014.  Co-sponsoring the bill are Representatives Lois Court (D-District 6); Bob Gardner (R-District 4); Cheri Gerou (R-District 25): Jeanne Labuda (D-District 1); Elizabeth McCann (D-District 8); Frank McNulty (R-District 43); Cherilyn Peniston (D-District-35); Sue Schafer (D-District-24) and Senators Lucia Guzman (D-District-34); Nancy Todd (D-District-28) and Jessie Ulibarri (D-District-21).
 
The bill will make it harder for parents to file and obtain a personal belief exemption to vaccination for their children to attend daycare or school. The bill will also require all daycare centers and schools to publicly release the percentage of children at the daycare center or school with personal belief vaccine exemptions.
 
If HB 1288 passes, it will legally require parents choosing to delay or exempt their child from one or more of the vaccines required for school for personal belief reasons to first: 
  • Submit a "certificate of completion" to the school or daycare that the parent has completed an online vaccine education module developed by state health officials; OR
  • Obtain a signature from a physician or other state-approved vaccine provider or an authorized representative of the state health department certifying that the parent has received state-approved vaccine education. 
The bill gives authority to state health department officials to determine the content of the information and how often parents will have to submit to the new requirements.  
 
This proposed legislation is based on recommendations made from a report issued in December 2013 by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) following a vaccine stakeholder public engagement project heavily stacked with members advocating for the exemption process to be made more difficult for parents.[1]
 
MARCH 13 PUBLIC HEARING ON HB 1288
 
The first public hearing in the Colorado legislature on HB 1288 is scheduled for Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm in room 0107 of the State Capitol. If you want to attend and sign in to give a short oral statement of your opposition to this bill, please see the action alert for HB 1288 on http://NVICAdvocacy.org
 
NVIC POSITION ON HB 1288: OPPOSE
 
NVIC opposes HB 1288 because: 
  • The legislation singles out and discriminates against a minority of parents with sincerely held personal beliefs about vaccination by assuming they are uneducated and should be forced into a state approved “education” program;
  • Under the guise of education, HB 1288 makes it legal for the state to brand a minority of citizens as intellectually or morally inferior and serves to harass and coerce citizens making health care decisions for their minor children. This violates the informed consent ethic and is a violation of human and civil rights by the state.
  • The legislation threatens the medical privacy of students by requiring that daycare centers and schools publicly release information about the percentage of children who have filed personal belief vaccine exemptions. This increases the potential for state sanctioned harassment and discrimination against these students and their families.
FALSE ASSUMPTIONS
 
HB1288 falsely assumes that parents taking personal belief exemptions are not educated when published scientific surveys and studies have consistently demonstrated that parents exercising the personal belief exemption for their children are highly educated.[2] [3] 
 
While parents targeted by this bill are being portrayed as being ignorant, thoughtless and selfish, research published after the 2013 vaccine stakeholder public engagement project conducted in Colorado confirms that parents delaying or declining one or more vaccines for their children are twice as likely to proactively begin vaccine decision-making deliberations before their child is born. Parents exercising the personal belief vaccine exemption are also intellectually re-evaluating their decisions eight times more often than parents who give their children every federally recommended vaccine according to the recommended schedule.[4]
 
In addition, surveillance data in Colorado indicates it is unlikely that a decrease in personal belief vaccine exemptions will affect infectious disease incidence in Colorado, including not having a significant impact on pertussis incidence.
 
COERCION AND EROSION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS
 
Colorado HB1288 and others bills like it threaten the legal right of Americans to exercise informed consent to medical risk taking and make voluntary health care decisions for themselves and their children free from government intrusion and coercion. The legislation unjustly creates a vehicle for state-sanctioned harassment of and discrimination against a minority of citizens with values and personal beliefs differing from those held by public health officials and medical trade groups associated with pharmaceutical corporations.
 
Vaccines are pharmaceutical products that carry risks of injury or death and some individuals with environmental, genetic and biological risk factors are more susceptible to harm from vaccination. It is a fact that no public health official or doctor can predict who will be harmed by a vaccine or an infectious disease because known risks have not been fully quantified and there are other unknown risk factors that have not yet been identified by medical science. [5]
 
PERTUSSIS VACCINE IN COLORADO: A VACCINE FAILURE
 
Although Colorado is the fourth most-improved state for a decline in vaccine exemption rates, [6]  surveillance data from Colorado’s last pertussis epidemic in 2005 shows that pertussis containing vaccines (DtaP, Tdap) are failing to control the disease among Colorado’s children.
 
Many gaps exist in Colorado’s disease and vaccine uptake surveillance data but, where vaccination status is available, it reveals that higher pertussis incidence cannot be assumed to be due to children with personal belief vaccine exemptions.
 
In fact, a recently published study on the impact of non-medical vaccine exemptions on state infectious disease incidence found that these exemptions had little to no impact on disease incidence. [7]
 
Just prior to the Colorado vaccine stakeholder public engagement project, NVIC asked a number of questions of the CDPHE regarding disease incidence in the state. Their response to NVIC’s request for data on the impact of personal belief exemptions on disease incidence was that it was “unavailable.”
 
NVIC has asked for clarification from CDPHE because we want to know: Is the data on the impact of personal belief exemptions on disease incidence in Colorado “unavailable” or is it UNKNOWN? At the time of publication of this NVIC Newsletter, we are still waiting for a response.
 
NO PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS
 
Colorado does not have a public health crisis necessitating a vaccine exemption statute change. While pertussis outbreaks are being used as a hammer to stampede the legislature into passing HB 1288, the CDC has acknowledged that the unvaccinated are not to blame for recent outbreaks,[8] as evidenced by Colorado’s own surveillance data. In addition to exemptions declining in Colorado, the state is also has increased vaccination coverage for all vaccines for children aged 19-35 months old.[9]
 
TAKE ACTION NOW IF YOU WANT TO PROTECT VACCINE EXEMPTIONS
 
NVIC’s Advocacy Portal has issued an ACTION ALERT for Coloradoans to take action to protect the basic human right to make health care decisions free from discrimination, coercion and sanctions by the state.  Every voice counts – your legislators need to hear from you and your friends and family NOW asking them to VOTE NO on HB 1288 or your legislators will assume all their constituents – including you - want them to vote FOR the bill.
 
Your action is needed to protect the precautionary “first, do no harm” and informed consent principles in all of Colorado’s vaccine policies and laws. When you become a registered user of the free online NVIC Advocacy Portal, you are provided with talking points and are immediately able to connect with your own legislators on your smart phone, tablet or computer.
 
If you haven’t already, please sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal today (and ask your family and friends to sign up, too) so you can stay up to date on what is happening with HB 1288 and other vaccine bills in your state that affect you and your family. Stand up for your informed consent and parental rights before they are taken away or severely restricted.
 
It’s your health, your family, your choice.
 
Click to View and Access References


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New Study: Use of Non-Medical Exemptions Not Tied to State Disease Incidence Rates

Posted: 2/19/2014 10:43:29 PM | with 6 comments

By Patrice La Vigne

Every so often, a study is published that accurately informs the public discussion about the relationship between vaccination and health. This is the case with "A Longitudinal Analysis of the Effect of Nonmedical Exemption Law and Vaccine Uptake on Vaccine-Targeted Disease Rates," which was co-authored by Vicky Pebsworth-Debold, PhD, RN, and published in the February issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

After conducting a comprehensive analysis of state vaccine exemption and disease incidence data, the study authors concluded that there is no or little measurable effect of stricter vaccine exemption standards on infectious disease incidence in states. This study contributes important information to the small body of empirical evidence on this topic.

"The Devil is in the Details"

Pebsworth-Debold, a pediatric ICU nurse with PhDs in both public health and nursing, noted that literature on this topic is limited. As an expert in health research methods with knowledge related to infectious diseases, vaccine effectiveness and state laws, she also collaborated on the study to help frame it to inform public health policy.

Across the country, state legislators are being pressured by lobbyists connected with pharmaceutical and medical trade groups to pass laws to eliminate or restrict the legal right to file and receive vaccine exemptions for sincerely held religious and conscientious or philosophical beliefs. "Presumably, these efforts are based on the belief that making access to and use of non-medical exemptions will decrease communicable disease rates," Dr. Pebsworth-Debold said.

In an effort to position the topic adequately, for example, Dr. Pebsworth-Debold argued for the use of the phrase "vaccine-targeted diseases" (VTD) instead of the routinely used phrase "vaccine-preventable diseases" (VPD). She pointed out that VTD is more accurate because vaccines are not 100 percent effective and vaccine failures are an inherent part of all vaccination programs.

"Whether or not vaccines actually 'prevent' or merely 'target' particular diseases most likely varies by disease and should also be evaluated," Dr. Pebsworth-Debold said. The extent to which vaccines actually prevent disease or merely produce time-limited antibodies is a "testable hypotheses that should not be assumed to have already been falsified by gold-standard clinical trials."

Vaccine Exemption Effects on Five Infectious Diseases Studied

Using 2001-2008 data across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the study authors analyzed the potential impact of use of non-medical vaccine exemption provisions as reflected by differences in state vaccine laws and state-specific annual vaccine uptake rates for vaccines typically required for school or daycare against state-specific annual incidence rates for five VTDs: pertussis, measles, mumps, Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) and hepatitis B. The four vaccines included in the study were those that corresponded with the five diseases: diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DTaP), measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), hepatitis B and Hib.

Dr. Pebsworth-Debold noted there is no valid, direct measure of use of non-medical exemptions at the state level and so they used two proxy measures for use of non-medical exemptions as reflected by the state-level vaccine uptake rates and a five-level measure of state law restrictiveness, which was determined by two groups of public health law experts. The authors assumed that the level of state law restrictiveness and vaccine uptake were correlated, so two different models of use of non-medical exemptions were tested.

All but two states permit non-medical vaccine exemptions based on religious and/or philosophical beliefs. Dr. Pebsworth-Debold defined state law restrictiveness as "the extent to which a state's statues and regulations discourage or prevent parents from claiming a non-medical exemption to mandated vaccinations," taking into consideration the availability of exemption options and the time and effort required to qualify. The least restrictive states included California, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Vermont and Washington, while the most restrictive states were Mississippi and West Virginia.

Study Main Take-Home Points

The results showed that neither measure of non-medical exemption use—the restrictiveness of a state's laws or vaccine uptake rates—was associated with annual disease incidence rates for four of the diseases evaluated. There was, however, a statistically significant, but weak, negative association between pertussis incidence and both proxy measures of non-medical exemption use for five of the eight years of data.

The real-world significance of the observed weak signal for pertussis suggests that if ALL states increased the restrictiveness of their exemption laws by one level, the annual number of pertussis cases would only decline by 1.14%, or 0.20 cases per 100,000 persons, resulting in 171 fewer cases nationally. Further, if states increased their pertussis vaccine uptake by 1%, the annual number of pertussis cases would only decline by 0.04%, or 0.01 cases per 100,000 persons, resulting in five fewer cases nationally.

Study Limitations

Dr. Pebsworth-Debold noted that the study is not without its limitations, including not being able to accurately quantify state-level pertussis incidence. Further, the study assumes that pertussis vaccines effectively prevent vaccinated persons from contracting and transmitting pertussis, even though data published after the study was completed suggests that the vaccine's effectiveness wanes more quickly than previously known, which increases the likelihood that vaccine uptake is less likely to be associated with disease incidence.

She added that this study's overall findings suggest that, "making state laws more restrictive as a means to reduce disease burden would be an example of public policy based on beliefs rather than science." She said "to base state-level vaccine exemption laws on such beliefs would not be consistent with modern national efforts to establish evidence-based public health policies and laws."

The study authors concluded, "Thus, policymakers must balance multiple competing requests to not only strengthen public health infrastructures and protect the well-being of populations, but also safeguard the self-determination rights of individuals who choose not to take potentially ineffective medical treatments that can cause serious temporary and permanent adverse events." 1

Vaccine Reactions: The Need to Know More

Dr. Pebsworth-Debold is no stranger to the profound effect that a serious vaccine reaction can have on the lives of the vaccine-injured and those who love and care for them. She has experienced the devastation of vaccine reactions in her own family, which affected her son and her niece. Her son suffered a "catastrophic reaction" to the seven vaccines he received at his 15-month well baby visit. She said she was initially in denial and once she realized what had happened she recalls "feeling deeply ashamed" and "ignorant" for "having had blind trust in the medical system and not having done my homework."

"I assumed that the CDC-recommended vaccine schedule was a well-established, evidence-based clinical practice guideline and that pediatricians and their nursing staff were well-versed on identification and treatment of vaccine reactions," she said. "Had I only known which shot was causing the severe indurations at the site of the injection after previous rounds of vaccinations prior to his 15-month shots and done some homework, I probably wouldn't have given him that particular shot without testing his titers first and most certainly, would have not given it along with everything else he got that day."

She continued, "I eventually realized that there were substantial holes in what was understood with certainty on these topics and that there was a very poor understanding of the types, causes and treatment of vaccine adverse reactions which results in poorly educated clinical practitioners and parents and, no doubt, negatively affected the quality of care my son received. As a nurse and public health professional, I had vaccinated many children and had no reservations about vaccinating my son because I had no reason to believe that he was at risk of harm. Like most other health care practitioners, I was virtually uneducated on how to recognize and immediately respond to a wide variety of known vaccine adverse reactions. His injury might have been much less severe with fewer long-term consequences if we all had been better educated."

After her son suffered serious health deterioration after his 15-month shots, Dr. Pebsworth-Debold conducted her own research in university libraries and on the Internet. She obtained information on NVIC.org that she couldn't find anywhere else. Then, in 2006, she responded to NVIC's call for a nurse to help respond to vaccine reaction reports and phone calls NVIC receives, and today she serves as a Board member and volunteer director of research and patient safety for NVIC.

Dr. Pebsworth-Debold served as the consumer member of the Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee for four years. She participated in public engagement projects initiated by the National Vaccine Advisory Committee to evaluate vaccine stakeholder concerns about vaccine safety and was the consumer representative to the independent H1N1 Vaccine Safety Risk Assessment Working Group (VSRAWG). She has also been a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Board of Scientific Counselors and reviewed research proposals for the CDC's Special Interest Panels and a Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) peer review program administered by the Department of Defense (DoD). 

References:

1 Yang YT and Debold V.  A Longitudinal Analysis of the Effect of Nonmedical Exemption Law and Vaccine Uptake on Vaccine-Targeted Disease Rates. American Journal of Public Health February 2014;104(2): 371-377.


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2014 State Vaccine Legislation in America: Battle Lines Are Drawn & Your Participation is Needed!

Posted: 2/11/2014 4:34:10 PM | with 39 comments
By Dawn Richardson, NVIC Director of Advocacy

Vaccine related legislative activity in states across the country is at an all time high in 2014.  The National Vaccine Information Center has been busy monitoring the bills filed in different states and analyzing them for their potential impact on vaccine freedom of choice.  

The NVIC Advocacy Portal (NVICAP) is already tracking 58 bills across 24 states.  With many bill filing deadlines weeks away, and several upcoming opportunities for amendments on other proposed measures, we expect the number of bills needing grassroots support or opposition to continue to rise.

Battle Lines Being Drawn in States

In 2014, the battle lines are being drawn in the states between those, who want to force citizens to use every federally recommended vaccine and those, who respect and value the legal right to exercise informed consent to medical risk-taking, including vaccine risk-taking. Your participation and action is urgently needed to defend the human right to exercise informed consent to vaccine risk taking in America and push back the Pharma-Medical Trade-Government Health lobby working hard to eliminate or restrict legal vaccine exemptions.

Along with actions you can take in your state to support good legislation or help defeat bad legislation, bill information is being posted on the NVIC Advocacy Portal. It is very important that you take the time to register for this free communication and vaccine choice advocacy network so you can stay informed and get involved.

Education or Marketing and Coercion?

The lines between “education,” marketing and coercion are getting blurred. Public health officials are joining with lobbyists working for pharmaceutical companies and medical trade associations to pressure state legislators to pass bills that require “vaccine education” and signatures of doctors or other state-designed health workers in order for parents to file non-medical exemptions to vaccination for their children to attend daycare or school. Pregnant women are also a target population. For example, both AL SB 294 (Alabama) and PA HB 1567 (Pennsylvania) require expectant parents to receive information about the pertussis vaccine.  

Some proposed legislation this year goes so far as to require schools to provide vaccine education programs for children and parents, which is effectively turning our schools into marketing departments for vaccine manufacturers.  AL  SB 75 (Alabama) and NY A 3703/S 2070 (New York) would require schools to provide meningococcal vaccine education/promotion, while GA HB 162 requires schools in Georgia to educate the parents of sixth-graders about why their children should get HPV vaccine.  

Turning Schools into Vaccine Delivery Clinics

Some state legislators are not satisfied with creating school-based vaccine marketing and “education” programs, they want to bring vaccines to children in schools and turn our schools into vaccine delivery clinics.  Several states are proposing to set up school- based vaccination clinics, including Pennsylvania (PA SB 251) where state health officials would be authorized to give flu vaccines to kids while they are attending school and SC HB 3236 (South Carolina) that will give the green light to state health officials to give the HPV vaccine to girls entering  seventh grade while in school.

Other state legislators want to require schools to post their vaccination rates in the town square. Vermont Senator Kevin Mullin, who unsuccessfully attempted to remove the state’s philosophical vaccine exemption in 2012, is proposing a bill (VT S 194) to require schools and child care facilities to publically post their specific vaccination rates.     

Get Vaccinated or Get Fired

Health care workers, teachers, daycare employees and students in NINE states are targets of new legislation that proposes to force children and adults to get federally-recommended vaccines or suffer economic and other sanctions -  from denial of employment and education to denial of parental rights to be informed if a minor child has received one or more vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases!

Health care workers in Illinois (Il SB 1610) and Massachusetts (H 1975) may be required to get flu shots every year in order to keep their jobs. If either of the Vermont bills pass (VT H 114 or VT S 103), Vermont would become the first state in the country with pertussis containing vaccine mandates for teachers that could result in teachers being fired for declining vaccination (daycare workers in Vermont are also being required to get pertussis vaccines in these bills).

Legislation has been introduced in Illinois (HB 4406) that would require day care centers in the state to mandate all day care workers get federally recommended vaccines.

Last year, influenza vaccine mandates for all healthcare workers in New Jersey (NJ A 2172/S 1464) was vetoed by the Governor after vocal citizen opposition, but the Pharma-Medical Trade-Government Health lobby is back again this session with a vengeance. A proposed new law (NJ S 1176) would require healthcare facilities to require all personnel to get an annual flu shot or be fired and denied new employment.    

Mandates and Ignoring Parental Rights

Meanwhile in Indiana (IN HB 1236) some legislators want to pass a law mandating that all boys get HPV vaccinations and the bill also is trying to raise the overall HPV vaccination rates in the state. All sixth grade students in Kentucky will be required to get HPV vaccine if the lobbyists pushing KY HB 311 get their way.  

Some of the most disturbing bills are out of New York: NY A 497 and NY S 3134 would make it possible for doctors to give minor children vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases (such as hepatitis B and HPV vaccines) without their parents’ knowledge or consent if the minor child  agrees to get the vaccine.

Missouri
(MO SB 748), Nebraska (NE LB 460) and New York (NY A 4221) all have bills filed that would require meningococcal vaccinations for students in different age groups.  

Papers, Please?

Since the 1990’s, the National Vaccine Information Center has been warning Americans about the systematic erosion of civil liberties and violation of privacy and informed consent rights when citizens are forced to participate in government-operated vaccine tracking systems without their voluntary consent.  

The Centers for Disease Control continues to report on and support the expansion of Immunization Information Systems (IIS).   These electronic medical record monitoring systems are used to identify, track down and harass those not compliant with the federally recommended child and adult vaccine schedules to enforce use of a growing list of vaccines promoted by public health officials, pharmaceutical companies and medical trade groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Iowa (IA HSB 530), Indiana (IN HB 1352) and Missouri (MO HB 1445 and MO S817) all have bills that will require doctors and other vaccine administrators to enter vaccine records into state vaccine tracking registries operated by government health officials.  

Foster Parents’ Informed Consent Rights Attacked

Some legislators don’t want to accept laws protecting vaccine informed consent rights from last year’s legislative session.  For example, last year the Arizona legislature passed a common sense law giving foster parents the right to make voluntary vaccination decisions for their own children and still be foster parents.  This was particularly helpful in cases where the children of foster parents had medical contraindications to vaccination or had filed non-medical vaccine exemptions. Now there is a proposed law (AZ SB1243) that would basically repeal this law and instead force foster parents to vaccinate their biological and legally adopted children or be denied the right to be foster parents.

Restricting Vaccine Exemptions in Oregon

Last legislative session, the state of Oregon suffered a setback when OR SB 132 was passed and eliminated the religious exemption to vaccination. The new law requires parents and guardians, who file a nonmedical exemption for their child after Mar. 1, 2014, to receive state-approved “education” about vaccination before being allowed to file the exemption.  If a parent already has a non-medical exemption form on file with schools and daycare facilities, the form does not need to be resubmitted. Only parents filing non-medical exemptions after Mar. 1, 2014 will have to comply with the new regulations.  

Details on this new law and how to obtain the current form for a non-medical exemption before the Mar. 1 change goes into effect are posted in the Announcements section of the Oregon State page on the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Colorado Vaccine Stakeholder Work Group Issues Report

NVIC is closely monitoring developments in Colorado for any attempts by the Pharma-Medical Trade-Government Health lobby to push for legislation that would restrict non-medical vaccine exemptions.  In December, the Colorado Department of Public Health issued a press release on a recent stakeholder report discussing Colorado’s personal belief vaccine exemption.  NVIC’s Executive Director, Theresa Wrangham, represented NVIC during the stakeholder engagement project and took the position that it is both unnecessary and coercive to make it more difficult for parents to file non-medical exemptions in Colorado.

The report recommends requiring state-approved education and/or counseling prior to a non-medical vaccine exemption being filed. Parents would need to obtain the signature of a doctor or other state-designated health worker or public health official and the exemption would have to be reviewed annually by the state under this workgroup’s recommendations.

NVIC supports the ethical principle of voluntary informed consent to medical risk-taking and opposes restrictions on vaccine exemptions that make it more difficult for citizens to exercise their informed consent rights.  While a bill or proposed rule to restrict vaccine exemptions in Colorado has not been filed yet, there is still time so we are watching this carefully.

Other Attempts to Suspend or Eliminate Exemptions

Some legislators in Vermont would like to see all philosophical and religious exemptions suspended if the vaccination rate falls below 90% (VT H 138 and VT S 102).  These two bills fortunately did not make any progress in 2013 but they have carried over to 2014 and need to be watched and opposed.
The battle to protect vaccine exemptions in New Jersey continues with NJ S 1147 attempting to restrict religious exemptions.

Bills Introduced to Expand and Protect Exemptions

NVIC Advocacy Portal users in Mississippi, New Jersey and New York have been very busy communicating with their legislators to brief them about why securing expanded vaccine exemptions is necessary to protect parental informed consent rights and children’s health.  Bills have been introduced in Mississippi (MS HB 1420) New Jersey (NJ A 1534) and New York (NY A 6359 and NY S 3934) to add a philosophical or conscientious belief exemption to state vaccine laws. 

There is another bill in New York (NY A2689), which provides protection to parents who file a religious belief exemption from being persecuted.

Legislators in Oklahoma and Wisconsin have stepped up to the plate on behalf of health care workers whose employers are attempting to require flu shots or other federally recommended vaccines as a condition of employment. Codified exemptions are being proposed in Oklahoma (HB 1892) and Wisconsin (WI AB 247).  

Additional support for health care worker informed consent rights has surfaced in Wisconsin (WI AB 608).  This bill prohibits a health care provider or health care system from refusing to affiliate with or join another health care provider network or health care system based on the influenza vaccination status of a health care provider or the percentage of fully vaccinated employees.

A recently filed bill in New York (NY S 6443), would give Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants the right to grant and write medical exemptions to vaccinations. Under current law, only state licensed physicians have the legal right to write medical exemptions. The bill would also guarantee that the physician or other state-designed health worker who writes a medical exemption will not be pressured by public health or other government officials to withdraw the medical exemption.  

Lawmakers in Virginia are looking out for homeschooled students and students with vaccine exemptions to protect their right to participate in interscholastic activities funded by state tax dollars. A Virginia bill (VA HB 63) has been introduced that would prohibit a public school from becoming a member of any organization or entity regulating or governing interscholastic programs that refuses to allow a student, who is homeschooled or has a valid legal exemption to vaccination, to participate in activities.

Get Involved and Take Action

By registering for NVIC’s Advocacy portal at http://NVICAdvocacy.org, you have access to:
more detailed information about all vaccine bills pending in your state;
  • NVIC’s position on supporting or opposing the bill;
  • a direct electronic connection through your computer or cell phone to enable you to contact your personal legislators, and
  • talking points and steps you can take to educate your legislators and make your voice heard.  
When you log in to the free NVIC Advocacy Portal, you are immediately connected. When you register and become an active user of the NVIC Advocacy Portal, you will automatically be signed up to the Portal’s email alert system for your state so you will receive real-time Action Alerts that will guide you about what to do about a particular bill that NVIC is monitoring.

Our amazing NVIC volunteer state advocacy team directors are on the ground in your state working to monitor legislation and help you protect your informed consent rights . They welcome and need your help to background and communicate with legislators in your state.

Raise Awareness About the NVIC Advocacy Portal

Please forward this NVIC Newsletter to family and friends who care about their parental and informed consent rights and ask them to register for the NVIC Advocacy Portal. You can log in to the Portal and use NVIC’s “Tell a Friend” feature under the “Resources” tab where all you have to do is enter a friend or a family member’s name and email address and we will send information about the NVIC Advocacy Portal and an invitation to register for the Portal. It is free and just by registering, they will automatically receive email alerts with step-by-step instructions about how to educate their legislators when vaccine safety and choice issues arise in their state.

NVIC’s goal is to have dedicated and educated vaccine freedom of choice advocates in every legislative district in the country willing to take a few moments to educate their elected officials regarding vaccines and exemptions whenever their voices need to be heard.  Please contact everyone you know who cares about the right, free from coercion and harassment, to be educated and have the final say in whether or not to use vaccines marketed and recommended for mandates by public health officials.  Please stress to them the importance of becoming an informed voice of reason in their state legislature.  Encourage them to sign up for NVIC’s Advocacy Portal at http://NVICAdvocacy.org, and we will do our job by providing them with well referenced information they can trust when their grassroots action is needed.

We are excited for the opportunity in 2014 to make a memorable impact in state legislatures by joining hands with tens of thousands of families and enlightened health care professionals across America and defending the ethical principle of voluntary informed consent to vaccination!

NVIC Social Networking


Please also follow NVIC on Facebook and follow the Advocacy Portal on Twitter @NVICAdvocacy! To view detailed information for the bills below you must register to use the Advocacy Portal. Please sign up - it is free!

Current Action Alerts

State
Date Posted
Title
CO
2/5/2014
Contact legislators concerning personal belief stakeholder report and possible legislation
ID
2/3/2014
Support RS22740 Testimony Needed to Support Informed Consent Rights Regarding Vaccines
NH
2/2/2014
Oppose SB 309 as Written on NH Vaccine Association
OH
2/5/2014
Ask your legislators to co-sponsor the bill to protect healthcare workers from flu vaccine mandates
RI
2/5/2014
Contact legislators concerning proposed new vaccine mandates for students/childcare workers
WI
2/3/2014
Contact members of the Health Committee and ask them to support AB 247, protects HCWs - flu mandates

Positions on Monitored Bills

State
Bill Number
Date Posted
Position
Title
AL
SB 294
2/3/2014
WATCH
Requires hospitals to provide pertussis vaccine information to new parents before discharge
AL
SB 75
2/1/2014
WATCH
Requires schools to provide Meningococcal Vaccine information
AZ
HB 2101
2/6/2014
WATCH
Establishes the vaccine financing and availability study committee
AZ
SB 1243
1/28/2014
OPPOSE
Requires foster parents in AZ to vaccinate their own children as a condition of licensure
CA
SB 492
2/3/2014
OPPOSE
Allows optometrists to administer vaccines during a declared emergency
CO
SB 32
2/7/2014
SUPPORT
Removes restrictions that prevent alternative practitioners from treating children
FL
HB85/SB880
2/11/2014
OPPOSE
Creates a pilot literacy program that encourages immunization services for children in the program
GA
SB 85
2/5/2014
WATCH
Allows pharmacists to administer vaccines to children
GA
HB 162
1/29/2014
WATCH
Requires parents of 6th grade students be given information about HPV Vaccine
IA
HSB 530
1/25/2014
OPPOSE
Requires anyone who administers immunizations to enter each immunization into the state registry
IL
SB 1610
1/30/2014
OPPOSE
Requires health care workers to receive flu vaccine or wear a mask
IL
HB 0332, HB 2008
1/30/2014
WATCH
Amends the Public Health Act by making a technical change
IL
HB 4406
1/30/2014
OPPOSE
Requires daycare centers and homes to adopt vaccination policies for staff
IN
HB 1236
1/16/2014
OPPOSE
Expands current HPV requirement to include boys, adds program to increase vaccination rate for HPV
IN
HB1352
1/16/2014
OPPOSE
Requires anyone who administers immunizations to enter each immunization into the state registry
KY
HB 311
2/6/2014
OPPOSE
Adds HPV Vaccine requirement for 6th grade students
MA
H 1975
2/5/2014
OPPOSE
Mandatory annual flu vaccine for health care workers
MO
SB532
2/11/2014
WATCH
Allows relative care givers to consent to vaccination for children via an avadavat
MO
SB 748
2/8/2014
OPPOSE
Adds meningococcal vaccine requirement for children and college students living in on-campus housing
MO
HB 1683
2/4/2014
OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED
Allows pharmacists to administer vaccines to children 7 year and older
MO
HB 1445/S 817
2/4/2014
OPPOSE
Requires all immunization providers to submit all vaccination records to the registry
MS
SB 2789
2/10/2014
OPPOSE
Concerning exemptions to vaccination
MS
HB 1420
2/5/2014
SUPPORT
Provides for a conscientious exemption to required vaccinations for school
NE
LB859
2/4/2014
WATCH
Amends the current law concerning flu and TDaP vaccines for healthcare workers
NE
LB 460
1/28/2014
OPPOSE
Requires meningitis vaccine for 7th grade students and 16 year old students
NJ
AB 2570
2/11/2014
SUPPORT
Eliminates use of vaccines containing mercury over three years
NJ
S1147
1/31/2014
OPPOSE
Restricts religious exemptions to vaccination in NJ
NJ
S1176
1/31/2014
OPPOSE
Requires healthcare facilities to establish flu vaccination policies
NJ
A351
1/27/2014
WATCH
Makes changes to exemptions to vaccination
NJ
A1534
1/27/2014
SUPPORT
Provides for a conscientious exemption to vaccination
NY
A4421
2/5/2014
OPPOSE
Requires seventh graders and college students to be vaccinated against meningococcal disease
NY
A2689
2/5/2014
SUPPORT
Provides protections to parents who use a religious belief exemption in NY
NY
A 6359, S 3934
2/4/2014
SUPPORT
Adds a philosophical exemption to immunizations
NY
A497/S3134
1/29/2014
OPPOSE
Allows minors to consent to STD (eg. HPV and Hep B) Vaccine without parental consent
NY
S6443
1/26/2014
SUPPORT
Ensures physicians, NP and PA exemptions to vaccinations prevail
NY
A3703/S2070
1/25/2014
OPPOSE
Requires schools to provide Meningococcal Vaccine information and record vaccination status
OH
HB 394
2/5/2014
WATCH
Expands current law to allow pharmacists to administer all vaccines to children 7 and older
OH
SB 79
2/5/2014
WATCH
Allows pharmacists to administer vaccines to children age 7 and older
OK
HB 1892
2/3/2014
SUPPORT, IF AMENDED
Requires health care facilities grant religious exemptions to flu vaccine mandates
PA
HB 776
2/5/2014
WATCH
Allows pharmacists to administer vaccines to children 7 and older
PA
HB 1567
2/5/2014
WATCH
Requires healthcare providers to give expectant mothers information about pertussis vaccine
PA
SB 251
2/5/2014
OPPOSE
Allows the health dept. to offer flu vaccines for children in schools
SC
HB 3236
2/5/2014
OPPOSE
Allows the health dept. to provide HPV Vaccine to girls entering the 7th grade in SC
VA
HB63
2/1/2014
SUPPORT
Concerning interscholastic participation for home schooled students and non-vaccinated students
VT
H 138, S 102
2/5/2014
OPPOSE
Suspends philosophical and religious exemptions if the immunization rate falls below 90%
VT
H 114, S 103
2/5/2014
OPPOSE
Requires pertussis vaccine for teachers and child care workers
VT
S142
1/27/2014
OPPOSE
Allows pharmacists to administer vaccines to children 7 and older
VT
S194
1/27/2014
OPPOSE
Requires schools and child care facilities to publicly post vaccination rates
WI
AB 608
1/9/2014
SUPPORT
Prevents healthcare providers and systems from refusing to affiliate based on flu vaccination status
WI
AB247
1/1/2014
SUPPORT
Protects healthcare workers who refuse an annual flu vaccine
WV
HB 4280/SB 386
2/7/2014
OPPOSE
Requires children to be vaccinated as a condition to receive aid from the WV Works Program



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