Homeland Security Bill Could Allow DHHS to Force Smallpox Vaccination While Nobody is Liable for Harm

"Protecting the health and informed consent rights of children since 1982."


Contact: Barbara Loe Fisher

for immediate release
November 15, 2002


Washington, D.C. - According to the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), the Homeland Security Bill (H.R. 5710) passed by the House on Nov. 13 and being considered by the Senate today opens the door to allowing federal health officials to force Americans to use the highly reactive smallpox vaccine and other "substances" while removing all liability from the pharmaceutical industry and health officials for the injuries and deaths which will result. The bill allows the Secretary of DHHS to issue a "declaration" after concluding that "an actual or potential bioterrorist incident" or "other potential public health emergency" warrants the administration of "a substance or substances" to "individuals during the effective period of the declaration."

"The language in this bill hands over unprecedented power to federal employees and does not preclude allowing them to use the military to strip citizens of informed consent rights and force them to risk their lives with highly reactive vaccines, such as the smallpox vaccine, that will injure or kill thousands of Americans if used on a mass basis," said NVIC president and co-founder Barbara Loe Fisher. NVIC maintains that Section 304 of the bill is fulfillment of a federal plan in development for several years to allow public health officials to force vaccination and medical treatment on Americans without their informed consent while removing all accountability from drug companies and those who participate in enforcement of the policy when harm is done.

"Several years ago the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) commissioned the creation of the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act which would give sweeping new powers to public health officials. They have tried to get that law passed in every state but have failed so far. So now they are going to go federal and get the power they have wanted for years. This bill is a violation of freedom in the name of protecting freedom. At the very least there should be informed consent protections in the bill to allow exemptions to vaccination and medical treatment for conscientious and religious beliefs as well as quarantine protections for those who exercise them," said Fisher.

The nation's largest and oldest vaccine safety and informed consent advocacy organization, NVIC worked with Congress on the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. NVIC has warned that use of the highly reactive smallpox vaccine on a mass basis pre-attack will reintroduce the live vaccinia virus into the human population and cause unnecessary injuries and deaths. A fully referenced report on smallpox and smallpox vaccination published by NVIC after Sept. 11, 2001 is available at www.nvic.org.

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