NVIC Vaccine News

Turning Vaccine Exemptions Into Class Warfare

By Barbara Loe Fisher
Published September 14, 2012 in Rights & Ethics

It is getting uglier and uglier out there, as angry, frustrated doctors inside and outside of government work overtime to foster fear and hatred of parents making conscious vaccine choices for their children. The latest political dirty trick is to brand parents, who send their children to private schools, as selfish and a threat to their communities because some private schools have higher vaccine exemption rates.

Take pediatrician and California Assemblyman, Dr. Richard Pan, for example. He is angry that many parents and health care professionals opposed AB2109, a bill he authored and pushed through the California legislature this year. 1 Dr. Pan misled his colleagues into believing that that forcing parents to pay for a doctor’s appointment to beg a hostile pediatrician 2 or medical worker to sign a personal belief exemption form is all about education.

Educated, Articulate Parents Defending Parental Rights

Medical trade associations that helped Dr. Pan lobby the state legislature included the California Medical Association, Health Officers Association of California, California Immunization Coalition and the American Academy of Pediatrics.3 In public hearings this year, educated, articulate mothers and fathers stood up to these powerful medical groups and defended their parental and informed consent rights.

In a syndicated Associated Press article, Dr. Pan lashed out at families sending their children to private schools and accused them of becoming too educated about vaccination. Dr. Pan said: “In private schools, these are people who have money, who are upper middle class, and they are going on the internet and seeing information and misinformation.” 4

Vaccine Information & Vaccine Exemptions Should Be Free

Dr. Pan is correct about parents “going on the internet” to learn, for example, how he refused in his bill to allow local pharmacists to sign a personal belief exemption form because he wanted to force all parents to first pay for a medical office visit. AB2109 clearly discriminates against parents, who cannot afford to pay a doctor to sign the form. 5  Why doesn’t Dr. Pan post information he wants parents to have about vaccination on the Department of Health website so parents can become educated for free? 6

Instead of admitting his bill is more about coercion than education, Dr. Pan attacked parents, who send their children to private schools. It looks like what doctors and medical trade groups really want to do is bully and punish parents, who hold sincere religious and conscientious beliefs about vaccination, no matter how much money they have or where their children attend school.

Doctors Engaging in Class Warfare

The same week that Dr. Pan publicly played the “class” card, he was joined by vaccinologists Dr. Saad Omer and Dr. Neal Halsey, who echoed Dr. Pan’s bigoted accusation in the same news article. Just like Dr. Pan, Drs. Omer and Halsey put the blame for higher personal belief vaccine exemption rates at private schools, such as the Waldorf Schools, on “wealthy” parents.

Dr. Omer has published a series of medical journal articles profiling parents taking non-medical vaccine exemptions and criticizing state laws that allow parents to take exemptions. 7 8 9 10 According to the AP article, Dr. Omer said he “surmised that more private school parents are wealthy and have the time to spread five shots over a series of years and stay home should their child get an illness like chickenpox.” 

Dr. Halsey, who I debated publicly in 1997 about informed consent to vaccination, 11 told the AP reporter that “parents who choose private schools are likely to be more skeptical of state requirements and recommendations.”  With that grossly inaccurate generalization, Dr. Halsey attempted to politically stereotype parents filing vaccine exemptions in order to explain why children attending private schools that respect parental rights and health care choices -,like Waldorf schools - have vaccine exemptions.

When doctors politicize vaccine exemptions in order to engage in class warfare, they are crossing a line that reveals more about who they are than the families they are trying to stereotype and marginalize. Dr. Pan, who has assumed the mantle of lawmaker, and Dr. Omer, who enjoys six federal vaccine research grants funded by the CDC or NIH, 12 and Dr. Halsey, who has funding from SmithKline Beecham and the Gates foundation,13 likely are not struggling to pay the rent or pay for groceries.

Doctors Want Fewer Medical Exemptions, More Power

Drs. Omer and Halsey are now calling for doctors to deny even more children medical exemptions to vaccination because they are unhappy that states with stricter non-medical exemptions have a higher rate of medical exemptions! 14 15 16

So let’s get this straight – what Drs. Pan, Omer, Halsey and medical trade groups really want is for state legislatures to grant doctors police powers to force parents to violate their conscience and deeply held religious beliefs in addition to doctors having the power to deny medical vaccine exemptions to children, many of whom are already vaccine injured.

That is a lot of power. That is power without accountability or liability.

Could it be that doctors with financial ties to medical trade associations, vaccine manufacturers and government health agencies are lobbying so hard to severely restrict or get rid of all vaccine exemptions because, every day, there are more and more Americans, who know somebody who was healthy, got vaccinated and was never healthy again?

 Informed Consent: A Human Right

The human right to informed consent to medical risk taking is a universal ethical principle that should be respected by doctors in every nation, especially in America, where we have a long history of respecting the right to self-determination.17 Doctors refusing to protect children from vaccine injury and death because they do not want their authority questioned 18 should not be given the legal power to force anyone to violate their conscience or religious beliefs.

Parents, who have witnessed their children regress into chronic poor health or die after vaccination, belong to every class and every race, religion, philosophy and political party in America. Today, they are joining hands with parents of healthy children and fighting to protect medical and non-medical exemptions that it looks like doctors will try to gut or completely take away next year in states like Arizona, 19 Connecticut, 20 Maryland, 21 Oregon, 22 23 Colorado, 24 New Jersey 25 and many more. 26

Please sign up to be a user of NVIC’s free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org and volunteer to work in your state to defend the human right to make vaccine choices for yourself and your children.

It’s your health, your family, your choice.



1 Richardson D. CA Bill Restricting Personal Belief Vaccine Exemption Heats Up. NVIC Vaccine E-News July 2, 2012.
2 Wang S. More Doctors ‘Fire’ Vaccine Refusers. Wall Street Journal Feb. 16, 2012.
3 California Immunization Coalition. Director’s Update: AB 2109 Moves on to Senate. May 30, 2012.
4 Dreier H. Private School Vaccine Opt-Outs Rise. Associated Press/USA Today Sept. 9, 2012.
5 Richardson D. NVIC Statement Opposing AB 2109. June 20, 2012.
10 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.
12 Saad Omer, PhD, MPH, MBBS. Grants.
13 Johns Hopkins Advanced Studies in Medicine. American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference Satellite Symposium Oct. 17-22, 2011. Activity Faculty: Neal A. Halsey, M.D.
14 Moyer CS. Medical Vaccine Exemptions for Children Not Always Justified. American Medical News Sept. 10, 2012.
16 Salmon DA, Halsey NA. Keeping the M in Medical Exemptions: Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Children. J Infect Dis Aug. 29, 2012 (published online).
18 NVIC. Vaccine Freedom Wall. Public reports of threats, coercion and sanctions for making informed choices about use of one or more vaccines
19 Fehr-Snyder K. Immunization Exemption Rates on Rise Among Arizona Schoolchildren. The Republic Sept. 12, 2012.
20 Cuda A. Vaccine Exemptions on Rise in State. Connecticut Post Sept. 3, 2012.
21 Asaithambi R. Time to get tough on vaccine refusal. Baltimore Sun April 11, 2012.
23 Anderson J. Religious Exemptions Tilt Immunization’s Balance. Portland Tribune. Feb. 16, 2012.
24 Stobbe M. Colorado Second in Vaccine Refusals. Associated Press Nov. 28. 0211.
26 IDSA. Increase of Religious Exemption to Immunization Requirements in New York State. IDSA Conference Poster Presentation Oct. 20, 212.

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16 Responses to "Turning Vaccine Exemptions Into Class Warfare"
Commenter Name
Posted: 9/17/2012 9:03:49 AM
It's circumstances such as this that creates suspicion on the part of thinking individuals. Why the big push, why the forced issue, why not leave it up to the decision of the parent or guardian, where it truly belongs? Makes you wonder what the real issue is.
Commenter Name
Someone against
Posted: 9/17/2012 11:05:58 AM
First of all, what is the best way to keep our states free? Second, what is the rate of harassment of parents who homeschool, etc. as opposed to those who sign exemptions to enroll their kids in school? I understand in NC it is pretty high, with threats to take away kids abounding if you don't submit to their "homeschool" vaccination list and decide to like it. Third, are there developed countries that are not harassing parents to this extent or where immunizations have not become popular? Thanks! Prudence Dagg
Commenter Name
Posted: 9/17/2012 12:24:54 PM
This, like so many other things going on right now, is just unbelievable--and it's ALL ABOUT MONEY! And it's frustrating to me that so few people actually see it for what it is. Greed in this country is literally killing us--money is more important than people. And we think that we have SO much freedom in this country--do we really? And as far as parents taking vaccine exemptions being uneducated--I'd say it's the exact opposite--it's the people that are educated and don't just swallow everything the mainstream tries to feed them that know enough to know that they should refuse them. It's the uneducated that just do as they're told and don't question anything because god, I mean the doctor, told them to do it.
Commenter Name
Sandy Lunoe
Posted: 9/17/2012 1:39:13 PM
Californian parents should immediately keep their kids out of school and immediately take to the streets with huge long banners. Banners can be bed sheets with big letters for example: "No Forced Vaccines" "Our children are O U R children". "1000's have Vaccine Injuries". "School is for Education - Not Vaccination", etc. They should chant the words loudly and continuously whilst marching with hundreds of their children. They should get film crews, journalists, lawyers with them and march continuously round schools, politicians' work places, and they should get wide media coverage from abroad. .
Commenter Name
Posted: 9/17/2012 2:26:29 PM
I deeply appreciate Barbara and the tremendous work she has done on the behalf of vaccine choice. What I wish is that when she mentions the list of people who choose not to vaccinate, she includes the category of educated, informed parents who have done the research and choose to opt out of this approach to healthcare. I am not basing my choices on religion or even my conscience. I base them on solid research and deeply informed choice thanks to people like Barbara and an important growing number of experts who see the dangers in our vaccine protocols and poor testing.
Commenter Name
Posted: 9/17/2012 3:02:33 PM
I agree with Sandy Lunoe that California parents should immediately keep their kids out of school and take to the streets with huge banners, etc. The American people seem to have become passive and submissive--it must be conditioning by the media and/or educational system. We are told all our lives to consult our doctor before making any decision in regard to our health and are made to believe that the doctor is like a god, who is always right. In my own experience, many times I have gone to a doctor for some health problem, and the doctor was unable to help me, and sometimes prescribed medication that gave me adverse side effects. My mother was a nurse, and while working in a hospital, she often witnessed carelessness and mistakes by doctors or nurses. There were a couple of times when she saw that a patient died due to a doctor's mistake. On one occasion a nurse misread a prescription and gave the patient 10 times the amount of Thorazine that was prescribed, and the patient died. My point is that parents should trust their own intuition and judgment in regard to their child's health and not have blind faith in the medical profession. I grew up in a very poor family with seven brothers and one sister. As a baby, my younger brother came down with whooping cough AFTER his third DTP shot. When the next child was born, my mother would not allow him to have any vaccinations. He was always very healthy. If there were no profit in vaccines, the medical system and the government would not be so concerned about whether all children are vaccinated. Why are they not so concerned about the high rate of autism and the high rate of developmental disorders in children? Chicken pox and mumps are not deadly diseases. Hepatitis B is a disease that is sexually transmitted or transmitted among drug users exchanging dirty needles. Today the measles is not a deadly disease, as it once was, apparently. I have never met anyone personally or even met anyone who knew someone who had polio (I am almost 68). We don't see people dying of diptheria, even unvaccinated people. Tetanus is rare, and if you or your child gets a deep puncture wound, at that time you can go immediately and get a tetanus shot, and it will not be too late to prevent tetanus. Regarding HPV--almost all HPV infections clear up on their own. The average age for women with cervical cancer is women in their 40s or 50s--not young teenage girls. Regular pap smears will detect pre-cancer cells. Regarding the flu, the statistics we are given are misleading, because they combine the total deaths from the flu with deaths from pneumonia, which is a much higher number. Most flu or pneumonia deaths are among the elderly, over 75 years of age, and vitamin D will help prevent the flu. Whooping cough is probably the most dangerous disease for young infants, but breastfeeding conveys some immunity to the baby. It would be best not to put an infant in daycare and not take them out in public places where they are around crowds of people. And expose them to sunshine and fresh air! Parents today have a fear of the sun and keep their children away from the sun or cover their bodies with sunscreen. It was well-known in the past that children would get rickets if they were deprived of sunshine.
Commenter Name
Rebecca Dalmas
Posted: 9/17/2012 3:28:20 PM
Communism was demonized as a central regime that made decisions for the people. Yet we seem to have this happening more and more here in America. Pre-emptive strikes are even blocked, and there are those who believe there are too many people and this a few dying is good for the earth. The vaccines try and stop a disease, where all disease has environmental indicators, so blocking the disease is not a solution, it is what causes the disease to appear in the environment that needs be solved. But then, no money can be made if the environment supports and thus is supported with best practices. A healthy person is not an act of division and conquer, thus nothing can be owned. And we all know that in order for profits to exist, the thing being sold needs a reason to be sold. Thus, searching for the cause of the imbalance within the environment, leading to eliminating the disease serves people and not profit, as it removes a dis-ease on which to feed. If the solution does not serve all life, support ALL life than it is not a solution. If the solution does not serve ALL then the real solution has not been found, and thus what is presented as a solution cannot then be made into a law, as it is not by nature a law because it does not serve all equally, it is a law that has not understood what life really is. So, not only is this a communistic, in the interest of profit and not all agenda, it also does not solve the real problem, the environment in totality. Thus the answer to life has not been found, and cannot be forced onto people because it is not the answer. It is only the bullies wanting profits. And if a vaccine is effective, than those who chose it are safe. To say that someone who does not take the vaccine creates a risk, is to say the vaccines do not work. Cows made milk for eons and they lived longer. Now we pump hormones and anti-biotics into cows because they no longer have the strength to fight the greater amount of disease and their life spans are shorter. Meanwhile we test products on animals for human consumption because they are so similar. Our environment is making us sick, vaccines are obviously not working, as we need - supposedly- more and more with each generation, thus they are not working, they are making us weaker, just as the cows are getting weaker. Over all, vaccines are part of this weakening world, and thus are probably the cause of the growing disease in our children. Not taking care of this world, pumping supposed bandaids into our children as we are doing to our cows is not working, it is not the solution and the bullies of profit are so afraid of losing their money, the act in self interest ONLY. I believe most state laws guard against this, as this is not support of life, it is ONLY support of profit for the few. Support an Equal Money system, remove the bullies of profit, as they do not have the best interests of life in sight and act in self interest ONLY.
Commenter Name
Posted: 9/17/2012 3:36:32 PM
Thank you NVIC for all that you do to protect our freedoms and the health of our innocent children!
Commenter Name
Posted: 9/17/2012 8:13:39 PM
I am an Australian and I believe that the reason people world wide do not like Americans is due to your government running a muck and allowing big business to tell your government what to do ..Doctors are losing their "god " status and they are even now,because of their attitude to people,losing out. Go the people for your rights.....
Commenter Name
Posted: 9/20/2012 4:01:24 PM
IF herd immunity was anything more than a theory then every single adult would need to get caught up on the current childhood schedule. Is that where we are headed? Perhaps Paul Offit would like to get in the front of the line.
Commenter Name
Posted: 9/20/2012 7:56:24 PM
The more they try to force people into toxic vaccines the more they resist,the more they resist, the more they get exposed. The movement is picking up steam and I am proud to be ANTI-VACCINE!
Commenter Name
Godfrey Wyl
Posted: 9/21/2012 7:44:37 PM
"Vaccine Information & Vaccine Exemptions Should Be Free" Given that this statement is neither more nor less than that school exemptions from immunization requirements should be effortless, does NVIC take the self-consistent position that complying with these requirements should also be effortless (and free)?
Commenter Name
Posted: 10/2/2012 3:44:04 PM
I've just looked into this site and all it has to offer regarding information on the flu vaccine. I've never commented on things like this in the past, but felt compelled today. I work in a pharmacy in Texas, and was really angry today when told I had to be vaccinated or show exemption (a letter from someone in the church regarding religious beliefs or a note from the doctor stating an egg allergy). I'm shocked that I am being TOLD I have to get something injected into MY skin that I've NEVER had, nor EVER believed in. And the exemptions...how can religious beliefs be exempt but not your own moral code or concern for your own safety when there has been proof of vaccines causing harm. Even if the statistics are 1 in 1,000,000 of a possible botched vaccine, who is the government/employer to tell ME what risk I NEED to take with my own body?! I bet they wouldn't be pushing for this so hard if one of their own people had some kind of adverse reaction. I don't understand this one bit, and I'm ANGRY. I've been a loyal employee for 2 years, and have helped the hospital in many ways. I don't understand how they can fire people who care about their own well-being. (Especially since I don't come into contact with patients. ) What can WE DO??????
Commenter Name
Posted: 10/20/2012 9:42:28 AM
Sandy Lunoe Hello. Thank you. I am with you 100%. I was partially vaccinated as a child. I caught measles, mumps and chicken pox growing up. Took hep b for school cause I knew no better at the time. I started to selectively vaccinate my son pentacel, and prevnar 13-doctor recommended. a week after, my son had rashes around the injection site, the rash looked like a healed burn. Still i didn't put two and two together. With his second series of shots with the same, the infant broke out terribly a week after the shots, all over body with the exception of the buttocks and his genitals. His neck and abdomen was the worst. I have pictures to proof how terrible it lookes. It was then, I put two and two together. Now I understand that vaccines stimulate TH2 antibody response, not TH1. Infants are primarly TH2, until they mature and develop, then TH1 becomes effective. Overstimulation of the TH2 portion of the immune system, too early, to often can and will result, in some people, autoimmune disorders, and hypersensitivities/allergies. Yes Eczema/Nummular eczema the type that he has is an autoimmune disorder and an allergic disorder. The doctors, at least the ones I see don't seem to know this. Or they know, but money is more important to them, than someone's elses child, or a minority's child-as they put it. Well my child is just as important to me as any other child is. I am not totally against vaccines. But these now-a-days vaccines with adjuvants, nanotechnology, genetically modified, smart DNA vaccines, etc are not safe. Neither are they a good bet for everyone. One size fits all should not apply to medicine because vaccines are not designed for a specific child in mind. The word safe they are using incorrectly. You look up the word safe, then you be the judge if vaccines are truly safe or not?
Commenter Name
John Carone
Posted: 10/27/2012 8:02:50 AM
If we insisted that the one forcing the vaccinations sign an agreement to accept full responsibility for any and all adverse reactions, that would end the whole controversy.
Commenter Name
John Carone
Posted: 10/27/2012 8:11:23 AM
If we introduce legislation which would compel those administering the vaccine to sign agreements to accept full personal responsibilty for any and all adverse reactions to the vaccine, those opposing it would reveal themselves as hypocrites. If they really believe vaccines are safe, why not agree in order to encourage people to be vaccinated? editors remark: Sadly the Supreme Court of the US relieved them of all liability. http://www.nvic.org/NVIC-Vaccine-News/February-2011/NVIC-Cites--Betrayal--of-Consumers-by-U-S--Supreme.aspx We must stand together for Vaccine Choice. Register for NVICADVOCACY.ORG today.

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