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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you haven’t already, please take a minute to register for the NVIC Advocacy Portal at http://NVICAdvocacy.org
. 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.
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.
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.
Federal Vaccine Advisory Committee Meetings: