State Legislative Updates: The Final Days and What You Can Do to Help

Posted: 5/23/2013 11:46:35 PM | with 3 comments
by Dawn Richardson, NVIC Director of Advocacy

State legislatures are beginning the process of winding down their sessions for passing or blocking proposed new laws across the country.  The National Vaccine Information Center has tracked and issued positions on an unprecedented 108 bills across 35 states in the 2013 Legislative sessions.  We are grateful for our NVIC activist supporters in so many states, who have really come through and utilized the information and guidelines we post on the NVIC Advocacy Portal to educate legislators around the country about good and bad bills.
There are still a handful of states with later deadlines that have some outstanding bills where your effort to contact your state legislators and educate them could really make a difference in the outcome.  Even if your state is not listed, we could use everyone’s help to contact the families you know in the states where action needs to be taken to let them know about the pending bills and what they can do to help. 
For each of the bills listed, more information is posted at

Oregon - OPPOSE SB 132

SB 132 completely removes Oregon’s longstanding statutorily protected religious exemption to vaccination (ORS 433.267 (1) (c)) and instead inserts a limited personal exemption controlled by doctors and the health department.  SB 132 forces a parent to use a government issued and controlled form when current law only requires a simple written statement of religious exemption from the parent.  Additionally, SB 132 forces the parent to submit themselves to a lecture by a doctor or state approved health care practitioner about vaccination and obtain their signature on the government form OR to complete a state government defined vaccine education module and obtain and show certification of completion for the exemption to be valid.  If these restrictive new barriers are not fully complied with, the child will be denied an education. 
This dangerous bill, the committee report, and the minority report are scheduled to be considered on Tuesday May 28th in the Oregon Senate. 

SB 132 was specifically requested by the Oregon Pediatric Society with the intention of making the vaccine exemption process more burdensome on parents. It is filed under the false assumption that parents making the decision to delay or decline a vaccine are not “educated” enough on the benefits and risks of vaccination.  
Please immediately contact your State Senator and ask them to OPPOSE SB 132

New York - OPPOSE A497

A497 allows for children to be vaccinated for sexually transmitted diseases without parental consent. 
The bill is awaiting a third reading in the Assembly.  

A497 completely ignores the facts that vaccination is a medical procedure using a pharmaceutical product that can cause injury or death and that some individuals are at greater risk for harm from vaccination than others. If a minor child is vaccinated without a parent’s knowledge or consent, the parent will not know how to monitor the child for signs of a vaccine reaction and, if the child dies or is left permanently injured, the parent is legally financially responsible for their child’s care. Many parents (and legislators) do not know that in 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court completely removed all civil liability from pharmaceutical companies selling vaccines and that doctors and other medical personnel giving vaccines to children are also protected from vaccine injury lawsuits.
NVIC supports the ethical principle of informed consent to medical risk taking, including vaccination, and defends the legal right of parents of minor children to make medical decisions, including vaccine decisions, for their minor children. HPV and hepatitis B vaccines, as well as vaccines currently in development for other sexually transmitted diseases, such as herpes, gonorrhea, Chlamydia and HIV/AIDS, should not be placed in a special category to allow legally unaccountable doctors or other individuals to persuade a minor child to get vaccinated without the knowledge or consent of the parent.
Please contact your Assembly Member and ask them to VOTE NO on A497.

New Hampshire - OPPOSE HB 664

HB 664, an act relative to the NH Vaccine Association, imposes a new, limitless tax assessment on every self-insured business and municipality in the state of New Hampshire to fund the purchase of vaccines.
 HB 664 is expected to be voted on by the full Senate on May 30, 2013.  
HB 664 puts unpredictable and uncontrollable financial burdens on the people of New Hampshire to fund unlimited vaccine purchases. Vaccines would be purchased for everyone. This could impose pressure to vaccinate everyone for all vaccines regardless of whether someone believes the vaccine is safe, necessary, or even effective. 
Please contact your State Senator and ask them to VOTE NO on HB 664.

Missouri - SUPPORT HB 317

HB 317 would require parents be informed of the ingredients contained in vaccines prior to the vaccine being administered to a child under the age of 7.  
HB 317 has been referred to the House Health Care Committee. 

In spite of the vaccine safety informing, recording and reporting provisions included in the federal National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, many doctors and other medical personnel administering vaccines to children don’t take the time to fully educate parents about the vaccines they give.  This bill would legally require a vaccine administrator to inform parents about the ingredients contained in each vaccine.  This is needed because some children are allergic to certain ingredients and some ingredients have a documented history of causing serious health problems.  Parents need to be given this information to help them make an informed decision about each vaccine they are considering for their child.

Please contact members of the House Health Care Committee and your State Representative and ask them to SUPPORT HB 317.

Wisconsin - SUPPORT Draft LRB0020 (no flu vaccine mandates for employees)

Draft LRB0020 (no flu vaccine mandates for employees) prohibits employers from requiring employees to get a flu shot.
  This draft is about to be assigned a bill number and needs our full support through the legislature. 

This is a much needed piece of legislation to slow down the freight train of employer based vaccine mandates.  We have heard from healthcare workers around the country who have had their jobs threatened and terminated for declining annual flu shots or other vaccines, even when they have medical reasons for refusing one or more vaccines.  

If you have experienced threats to or loss of your job due to employer based vaccine mandates, please share your story with us on our NVIC Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall.  We may be able to use it to help educate legislators.

Please contact your State Representative and Senator and ask them to
SUPPORT Draft LRB0020 (no flu vaccine mandates for employees). Check back on the NVIC Advocacy Portal for a bill number assignment.

Register for the NVIC Advocacy Portal Today

If you haven’t already, please take a minute to register for the NVIC Advocacy Portal at  It is a free public service of the National Vaccine information center designed and operated specifically to help protect vaccine exemptions and your right to make independent and educated vaccination decisions. You will receive email updates when action is needed in your state, and you can log in anytime and view current information on pending legislation that affects your informed consent rights.

NVIC in the News
Launch of App Tracking Vaccine Refusals Sparks Concerns - NVIC co-founder and President Barbara Loe Fisher was quoted in this article saying the new iPhone app developed by University of Iowa violates privacy rights. “Vaccine Refused” is designed to track where and why patients are declining to get one or more vaccines. Barbara is quoted in saying, “We oppose vaccine tracking and surveillance systems that do not include strong opt-in, informed consent protections for citizens to prevent civil and human rights abuses.”  The Des Moines Register, May 12, 2013.
In the News
W.Va. Girl Who Refused Vaccines Marches with Class - A valedictorian banned from attending high school after refusing state-mandated vaccinations will attend public high school graduation services. The guest speaker at the graduation is Circuit Court Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong, who ordered the school district to provide home instruction for the honors student after she was banned from school. San Francisco Chronicle, May 24, 2013.
One in Five Kids Experience Mental Disorders Annually - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report indicating that every year, between 13 percent and 20 percent of U.S. children experience a mental disorder, with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) being the most common, followed by depression. Childhood mental disorders cost $247 billion annually and their prevalence among children has increased from 1994 to 2011. The CDC also noted that among children aged 12 years to 17 years, suicide was the leading cause of death in 2010. CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 17, 2013.
Prevalence of flu shots unchanged during recent winters - Between 39 percent and 44 percent of Americans received flu shots during the past five winters, a new Harris Poll shows. Further, 15 percent of those who did not get a flu shot reported having the flu in 2013. Overall, 47 percent of the survey respondents said they plan to get the flu shot next winter and 40 percent said they will not get it. Harris Poll, May 14, 2013.
Media Surveillance System Monitors Media Coverage of Vaccines - Using an automated data collection system, researchers assessed 10,380 media mentions of vaccines across 144 countries between 2011 and 2012. In total, 69 percent contained positive or neutral content and 31 percent contained negative content. Among the negative reports, 24 percent referred to vaccine programs and disease outbreaks, 21 percent referred to beliefs, awareness and perceptions and 16 percent focused on vaccine safety. Lancet Infectious Diseases, May 13, 2013.
Heroin Vaccine Tested in Rats - Researchers tested a new vaccine that creates antibodies to attack heroin and its psychoactive products and prevents heroin from reaching the brain. The preclinical study found that heroin-dependent rats exhibited fewer signs of addiction when given the vaccine. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 6, 2013 and Scripps Research Institute, May 6, 2013.
NVIC Calendar Notes
Federal Vaccine Advisory Committee Meetings: 

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Desperate Times for Vaccine Risk Denialism

Posted: 5/10/2013 10:15:43 AM | with 9 comments

by Barbara Loe Fisher

These are desperate times for those denying vaccine risks. We know it because we are witnessing so many acts of desperation being committed by doctors determined to shut down the public conversation about vaccination and health. Vaccine risk deniers are working overtime to restrict public access to information, cover up vaccine injuries and deaths and violate the human right to informed consent to medical risk-taking.
No Flu Shots? No Employment.
2013 was only a few days old when public health agencies and medical trade groups called for veteran nurses and other health care workers to be fired for refusing to obey orders to get annual flu shots – no exceptions and no questions asked. 1 It did not matter that the risky and notoriously ineffective influenza vaccine turned out to be almost useless in preventing infection with the most prevalent influenza strains circulating in the U.S. this year. 2
Proposed State Legislation to Force Vaccine Use
This was followed by the introduction of legislation backed by public health officials and Pharma-funded medical trade groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics in states like Texas, Oregon, Arizona and Vermont. 3 Their goal is to remove or restrict non-medical vaccine exemptions in state laws so doctors have more power to force vaccine use by children and adults - no questions asked and no exceptions.
Institute of Medicine Report: Where Is the Good Vaccine Science?
In mid-January came the eye-opening Institute of Medicine committee report acknowledging that only 37 scientific studies have examined the safety of the current U.S. vaccine schedule for newborns and children under age six,4 which now totals a stunning 49 doses of 14 vaccines 5 compared to 23 doses of 7 vaccines recommended in 1983. 6 The lack of enough good scientific studies meant the committee could not determine whether the numbers of doses and timing of government recommended vaccinations is - or is not - associated with development of chronic health problems like seizures, autoimmunity, allergies, learning disabilities and autism in the first six years of life. 7
New U.S. Autism Prevalence Statistic: 1 Child in 50
 In March, a report was issued by the National Center for Health Statistics estimating that among children attending school in America, today 1 child in 50 has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). 8 In 2004, that number was 1 child in 150. In 1992, it was 1 child in 500 and in 1986 it was 1 child in 2000. 9
By April, which is Autism Awareness Month in the U.S., there was a full court press by doctors inside and outside of government to dismiss any association whatsoever between steep increases in the numbers of vaccinations given to children during the past 30 years and corresponding steep increases in the numbers of children developing autism. Those doctors know, but a lot of young parents today don’t know, that the public conversation about vaccine-induced brain inflammation and chronic brain and immune system dysfunction, including autism, began 16 years before a study was published in The Lancet in 1998 examining the potential association between MMR vaccine and autism. 10 11
CDC Study Fails to Confirm Offit’s Claim 10,000 Vaccines Safe for Babies
On Good Friday, April 1, during Easter and Passover observances, a study conducted and funded by the Centers for Disease Control was released by the Journal of Pediatrics declaring that “increasing exposure to antibody stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines is not associated with risk of autism” and, therefore, vaccines don’t cause autism. 12 It was a pathetic attempt to validate a Machiavellian hypothesis forwarded in 2002 by pediatric vaccine developer Paul Offit claiming that an infant could safely respond to 10,000 vaccines given at any one time. 13
 However, an eighth grade science class student with an elementary understanding of health research methods, 14 the bioactivity of various vaccine ingredients 15 16 17 18 and the difference between naturally acquired and vaccine acquired immunity, 19 could figure out that the absence of an unvaccinated control group meant the study was fatally flawed. It proved absolutely nothing about the potential relationship between administration of multiple vaccinations in early childhood and the development of autism among genetically diverse children with and without increased biological susceptibility to adverse responses to vaccination. 20
Pediatricians Label Social Networking Parents “Nonconformers”
On April 15, Pediatric News published an online survey stating the obvious: a person’s knowledge, values and beliefs, as well as the opinions of friends and families in social networks, strongly influences decisions about vaccination. 21 Parents, who expressed doubts about vaccine safety and used alternative vaccine schedules for their children, were pejoratively labeled as “nonconformers.  
Pediatricians commenting on the survey suggested that nonconforming parents did not base their vaccine decisions on “rational logic” and “scientific evidence” because they were influenced by non-conforming friends and misleading information on nonconforming websites. 22 Apparently, there was no consideration given to the fact that nonconforming parents found the poor science and empty rhetoric buttressing one-size-fits-all vaccine policies entirely unconvincing. 23
Journalist & Magazine Attacked for Article Questioning Gardasil Safety
April was also the month that a veteran journalist and radio show host was personally attacked by pediatricians and public health officials in Buffalo, New York for daring to write an article questioning the safety of Gardasil vaccine and urging parents to make informed vaccine choices. 24 Outraged doctors threatened to financially ruin the magazine that published the article by destroying the magazine’s paid advertising base unless the article was retracted. 25

Offit Plays Class & Race Card to Demonize Smart Nonconforming Parents
By the end of April, a CNN reporter quoted doctors blaming outbreaks of whooping cough, measles and mumps on unvaccinated people in developed nations, who spread their vaccine safety doubts on the Internet and jeopardize the health of people around the world. 26 Crassly playing both the class AND race card, the magical thinking, attention seeking Dr. Offit offered the opinion that “It is the upper middle class, well-educated Caucasian parents who are shunning vaccines. They have generally gone to graduate school, are in positions of management and are used to being in control,” he said flatly.
Doctors playing the blame game apparently disagree about whether nonconforming parents asking questions about vaccines are simply stupid and irrational or are just over-educated, rich white folks refusing to acknowledge the intellectual superiority and infallibility of those with M.D., PhD or MPH written after their names regardless of the color of their skin or how much money they make.
Doctors like Offit, 27 Halsey, 28 29 30 Plotkin, 31 32 Omer 33 34 35 36 and others denying vaccine risks are blaming everyone but themselves for the miserable statistic that 1 child in 50 in America develops a type of brain and immune dysfunction labeled autism when it used to be 1 child in 2000 before they dumped three times as many vaccinations on babies.
Regression Into Poor Health After Vaccination: A Universal Experience
What doctors drowning in denialism 37 refuse to accept is that, today, everybody knows somebody who was healthy, got vaccinated and was never healthy again. 38That pattern of regression into poor health, 39 that universal experience of suffering after use of a pharmaceutical product that has a long, well documented history of risks 40 41 42 and failures, 4344 is why the public conversation about health and vaccination in the 21st century must and will continue. It will continue until doctors, who are pushing more and more vaccines on children and adults already more highly vaccinated and sicker than ever, come up with a much better explanation than it’s “bad genes,” “better diagnosing” or all “a coincidence.”
Vaccine Makers and Doctors Shielded from Liability Have Ethical Duty
In the U.S., vaccine manufacturers are shielded from product liability in civil court and doctors promoting and administering vaccines are also shielded from vaccine injury lawsuits. 45 46 Doctors without legal accountability have an even greater ethical duty to encourage patients and parents of minor children to become educated about all risks and honor the vaccination decisions patients or parents make, even if the doctor does not personally agree with the decision made. 47 48
Freedom of thought, speech and conscience are deeply valued and constitutionally protected rights in America. 49 The public trust in the integrity of public health policies is destroyed when defensive doctors unwilling to share decision-making power fail to respect the human right to informed consent to medical risk taking and behave like schoolyard bullies instead of compassionate healers committed to, first, doing no harm.

1 Fisher BL. Women, Vaccines & Bodily Integrity. NVIC Vaccine Newsletter Jan. 14, 2013.
2 Centers for Disease Control. What You Should Know for the 2012-2013 Flu Season: Can I Get Vaccinated and Still Get the Flu?
3 LaVigne P. New State Vaccine Bills Threaten Vaccine Choices. NVIC Vaccine Newsletter Apr. 22, 2013.
4 Institute of Medicine Committee on the Assessment of Studies of Health Outcomes Related to the Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule.
8 Blumberg SJ, Bramlette MD, Kogan MD et al. Changes in Prevalence of Parent-reported Autism Spectrum Disorder in School-aged U.S. Children: 2007 to 2011-2013. National Health Statistics Reports 2013; 65: 1-11.
9 Newschaffer CJ, Falb MD, Gurney JG. Autism Prevalence Trends from United States Autism Special Education Data. Pediatrics 2005; 115(3).
10 Coulter HL, Fisher BL. DPT: A Shot in the Dark. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1985 (Warner 1986, Avery 1991, Penguin - current).
11 Institute of Medicine Vaccine Safety Committee. Appendix B: A Brief Chronology of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccine (1982) Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines. Washington, D.C: The National Academies Press 1991.
12 DeStefano F, Price CS, Weintraub ES. Increasing Exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides in Vaccines Is Not Associated with Risk of Autism. Journal of Pediatrics.  Published online April 1, 2013.  
13 Offit PA, Quarles J, Gerber MA et al. Addressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Multiple Vaccines Overwhelm or Weaken the Infant’s Immune System?Pediatrics 2002; 109(1): 124-129.
14 Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library. Study Design 101: Case Control Study. November 2011.
15 Centers for Disease Control. Vaccine Excipient and Media Summary. February 2012.
16 Sato H, Ito A, Chiba J. Monoclonal Antibody Against Pertussis Toxin: Effects on Toxin Activity and Pertussis Infections. Infection and Immunity 1984; 46(2): 422-428.
18  Santucci B, Cannistraci C, Cristaudo A et al. Thimerosal posivities: The role of SH groups and divalent ions. Contact Dermatitis 1998; 39(3): 123-126.
19 The Free Dictionary. Acquired Immunity.
20 Institute of Medicine Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines. Adverse Effects of Vaccines Evidence and Causality. Increased Susceptibility (page 82).  Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press 2012.
21 Brunson EK. The Impact of Social Networks on Parents’ Vaccination Decisions. Pediatrics published online April 15, 2013.
23 Fisher BL. The Safety of the Childhood Vaccine Schedule: A Public Perspective Institute of Medicine Committee on the Assessment of Studies of Health Outcomes Related to the Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule Feb. 9, 2012 meeting.
24 Tokasz J. Column critical of vaccine for teen HPV stirs outrage. The Buffalo News Apr. 11, 2013.
25 O’Connor L. Writer Defends Column Critical of Gardasil Vaccine. “Parent Talk” radio interview with Barbara Loe Fisher on risk of HPV and Gardasil and informed consent rights of parents. The Breeze (FM102.9 & AM1230). April 13, 2013.
27 Fagone J. Will this Doctor Hurt Your Baby? Philadelphia Magazine June 2009.
30  Salmon DA, Halsey NA. Keeping the M in Medical Exemptions: Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Children. J Infect Dis Aug. 29, 2012 (published online).
3131 Plotkin S, Orenstein WA, Offit PA, editors. Vaccines, 6th Edition. Saunders Elsevier Inc. 2012.
35 Omer SB, Salmon DA, Orenstein WA, deHart PM, Halsey N. Vaccine Refusal, Mandatory Immunization and the Risks of Vaccine Preventable Diseases. N Engl J Med 2009; 360(19): 1981-1988.
37 Diethelm P, McKee M. Denialism: What is it and how should scientists respond? Eur J Public Health 2009; 19(1): 2-4.
39 Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) searchable database.
40 Institute of Medicine Vaccine Safety Committee. Adverse Events Association with Childhood Vaccines: Evidence Bearing on Causality. Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press 1994.
41 Institute of Medicine. DPT Vaccine and Chronic Nervous System Dysfunction: A New Analysis. Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press 1994.
42 Health Resources Services Administration. National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Statistics Report.  
47 University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine. Informed Consent.
48 American Medical Association. Informed Consent.

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