As More Parents Join the Anti-Vax Movement, States Are Scrambling to Make It Harder to Opt Out of Vaccinating Your Child.
"Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, one of the oldest and most well-established anti-vax groups, told INSIDER her organization is supporting more bills in the current legislative session than ever before - 61 out of 140 vaccine-related bills across 31 states. "There is no question there are more families than ever involved now," she said. "This is a parental rights and human rights and civil liberties issue." INSIDER Feb. 28, 2019.
States Move to Restrict Parents' Refusal to Vaccinate Their Kids. "Nobody should sit in judgment of another person's religious and spiritual beliefs," says Barbara Loe Fisher, a spokesperson for the National Vaccine Information Center, a group that lobbies against mandatory vaccination and thinks parents should have a choice. "No person should be allowed to force someone to violate their conscience when they're making a decision about the use of a pharmacological product that carries a risk of harm." NPR Feb. 28, 2019.
Exemption Debate. "A hundred cases of measles in a population of 320 million people does not constitute a public health emergency," said Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center. "[These cases] should not be used to justify eliminating the legal right to exercise informed consent to vaccination," she told Axios. World Magazine Feb. 28, 2019.
Measles Outbreaks Lead States to Reconsider Vaccine Exemptions. "Proponents of vaccine exemptions argue that parents should be able to make their own decisions regarding their children's health. "We believe that stripping vaccine laws of personal belief exemptions is a violation of human rights, including freedom of thought, conscience and religious belief," said Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center." The Hill Feb. 26, 2019.
Anti-vaxxers face backlash as measles cases surge. "The introduction of competing anti-vaccine bills in state legislatures reflect continuing alarm about vaccine safety, said Barbara Loe Fisher, who heads one of the oldest and best-established anti-vaccine groups, the National Vaccine Information Center. "You cannot bring down the hammer on people and force them to obey one size fits all when the risk is not being shared equally," she said, adding that individuals have different genetic risks. She argues that parents should have the right to make voluntary decisions without their children being denied a school education. "We consider this to be parental rights, a human rights issue," Fisher said. While 11 states are considering bills to restrict or eliminate vaccine exemptions, her group supports 60 out of 141 vaccine-related state measures, "which is the most bills we have supported in a legislative session," she said. Groups such as Fisher's frame their message in terms of individual rights, insisting that parents, not the government, should decide whether to vaccinate their children - an argument championed by affluent, well-educated parents that resonates with liberals and conservatives." Washington Post Feb. 25, 2019.
Health Officials React to FDA Chief Comment on Vaccine Exemptions. "While the FDA isn't directly in charge of getting Americans vaccinated against diseases, the comments from such a high-ranking federal health official fueled the fire in the already red-hot debate over vaccines and exemptions from them. "It is highly inappropriate for federal government officials particularly the commissioner of the FDA to threaten state legislators with federal action if they don't tighten vaccine exemption laws," said Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center which advocates for people to opt out of shots through informed consent." But while health officials like Dr. Smith, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics continue to urge fewer exemptions on immunizations, groups like Fisher's are resisting. "The federal government has made vaccine recommendations and the states have made vaccine laws," she said. "The federal government should not be interfering in what is a states' rights issue." Fisher said doubts persist over the risks of widespread immunization programs." THV11 (CBS - AK) Feb. 22, 2019.
Bills that critics fear would lead to dip in vaccinations advance "Along with the premise that vaccines save millions of lives, as a pharmaceutical product, they also bring risk," Irene Pi, Arizona director of the National Vaccine Information Center, told lawmakers. Arizona Capitol Times Feb. 21, 2019.
Should Vaccine Exemption Laws Be Regulated by the Federal Government? "Recently, the 2018 Annual Report on U.S. State Vaccine Legislation, the non-profit charity National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) reported that during the 2018 legislative session, no state eliminated or restricted existing medical, religious and conscientious or philosophical exemptions for daycare or school attendance. Working to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education since 1982, the NVIC is the largest and oldest U.S. charity disseminating information about diseases, vaccines and informed consent to vaccination. NVIC provides well-referenced, accurate information to the public about vaccination and health, but does not make vaccine recommendations." Precision Vaccinations Feb. 20, 2019.
Anti-vaxxers: admitting that vaccinology is an imperfect science may be a better way to defeat skeptics. "Other groups, like the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), declare that its mission is to promote informed consent. The NVIC says it offers neutral, evidence-based information about vaccines, but its website has many stories about vaccine-damaged children and the "harassment" of parents for making "informed vaccine choices." The Conversation Feb. 15, 2019.
Outbreak Is Bringing Vaccine Exemptions Into Spotlight. The other side: Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the nonprofit National Vaccine Information Center often labeled as anti-vaccination, tells Axios that 100 cases of measles in a population of 320 million "is not a public health emergency." "It should not be used to justify eliminating the legal right to exercise informed consent to vaccination, which is protected by the inclusion of flexible medical, religious and conscientious-belief vaccine exemptions in public health laws," she says. Axios Feb. 14, 2019.
A state-by-state guide to vaccine exemptions in the U.S. According to the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), Washington is one of 17 states that allow for philosophical exemption from vaccines, which are granted to individuals who hold conscientious objections to one or more shots... the following map breaks down vaccine exemption rules across the U.S., using data from NVIC." Insider Feb. 12, 2019.
Oregon lawmaker wants to end non-medical exemptions to school vaccine requirement. Theresa Wrangham, executive director of the National Vaccine Information Center, opposes Greenlick's proposal. "You're talking about a minority of parents who exercise their human rights to make medical risk taking decisions voluntarily. Vaccination is a risk-taking decision," Wrangham told a KATU reporter. "It's my contention that this is a human right because it carries a risk of injury or death. You have to allow people to make that choice." KATU2 Feb. 11, 2019. Northwest Measles Outbreak Revives Debate Over Vaccine Laws. "The National Vaccine Information Center, which opposes mandatory vaccination laws, said it opposed that bill and the current one. Another anti-vaccination group, Informed Choice Washington, had its members at the statehouse on Thursday trying to dissuade lawmakers. "People are feeling extremely oppressed and feeling like they can't make an educated decision," said Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the group (sic) [NVIC]. She said the legislation would "bring a hammer down and threaten people instead of allowing them to make informed decisions." Associated Press/Seattle Times Feb. 1, 2019.