By Dr. Mercola
All across the United States, people are fighting for their right not to be injected with vaccines against their will.
Currently, the Colorado Board of Health has been holding hearings on whether or not to adopt a new rule that would mandate healthcare workers get an annual flu vaccine -- with NO religious or personal exemption, while a federal vaccine advisory committee has recently voted to encourage hospitals and medical facilities to require health care workers get an annual flu shot as a condition of employment.
Other states are faring a bit better.
In New Jersey, Governor Christie recently pocket vetoed a bill that would mandate flu vaccines for the state's health care workers.
(When a bill is "pocket vetoed" it is not returned to the legislature for a possible vote to override the veto.)
And in West Virginia, where residents can currently only obtain a medical exemption for vaccination, a new bill has been introduced that could expand exemptions to religious and conscientious reasons.
Parents in Kansas are also fighting for more vaccine exemption rights, along with those in Florida and Mississippi.
This is good news.
But in the state of Vermont, there are bills in the House and Senate to strip the right to exercise a philosophical exemption to vaccination from state public health laws.
Parents are opposing the legislation that is being supported by state public health officials and medical trade associations.
In this video commentary, Barbara Loe Fisher examines the threat to philosophical exemptions to vaccination by interviewing the parents of seven-year old Kaylynne. Kaylynne was a healthy seven year old living in Vermont who died within 92 hours of a routine flu shot in December 2011.
Kaylynne's parents are pleading with the Vermont legislature to oppose proposed bills that would strip philosophical exemptions from state vaccine laws. But the Vermont Health Commissioner and the drug industry-backed American Association of Pediatrics are pressuring legislators to take away parental informed consent rights.
It is extremely important that Vermont residents who want to protect their right to obtain a philosophical exemption to vaccination for their children IMMEDIATELY contact their state representative and senator and ask them to vote "NO" to S. 199 and H. 527.
Legislators in other states may soon follow Vermont's lead and try to restrict your right to make voluntary vaccine choices.
In Arizona, public health officials and medical trade groups are pushing bills to require doctors to sign off on religious and philosophical exemptions to vaccination, which is similar to a law that passed in Washington state last year..
At present, all but two states (West Virginia and Mississippi) allow religious exemption to vaccination.
In the video above, Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), discusses this important exemption, and why it's so vital we defend our right to opt out of vaccinations for medical, religious, or conscientious belief reasons.
All Americans need to know their options for legally opting-out of vaccinations, and you also need to know why it's so important to protect this legal option, whether you choose to use every federally recommended vaccine for yourself and your children or not.
Forced Vaccinations for Health Care Workers—A Real Threat to Health and Liberty
The right to make an informed, voluntary vaccination choice for yourself (or your child) should be an inalienable human right because it involves taking a risk with a pharmaceutical product that could cause harm or even death. There is no guarantee that taking a vaccine (or any other drug) will not cause a complication and lead to serious injury. Yet we've seen time and again how government tries to take away our human right to say 'aye' or 'nay' to potentially hazardous medical interventions like vaccination.
In response to the proposed federal recommendations for flu shot mandates for health care workers[i], the NVIC sent a public comment to the National Vaccine Program Office, US Dept. of Health and Human Services[ii] stating in part:
"The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) has historic standing in representing the vaccine injured and vaccine consumers concerned about vaccine safety and the critical need to protect the legal right to informed consent to vaccination in America. NVIC co-founders worked with Congress to insert vaccine safety and informed consent provisions in the historic National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.
... NVIC does not advocate for or against the use of vaccines but defends the human right to exercise informed consent to medical risk-taking, including the right for everyone to have access to full information about infectious diseases and vaccines and the freedom to make voluntary decisions about vaccination.
Vaccines are pharmaceutical products that carry a risk of injury or death, which can be greater for some than others.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a landmark report in 2011, Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality, and acknowledged increased susceptibility for individuals, who have unidentified genetic or other biological high risk factors for adverse responses to vaccination that can lead to permanent injury or death. In addition, out of the 27 adverse events reported to be associated with influenza vaccination, for which the IOM committee reviewed evidence in the medical literature to try to determine causation, the committee was unable to make a determination for 23 of the 27 adverse events because there was either an absence of studies or the studies were not methodologically sound enough to prove or disprove causation.
Therefore, a mandatory, one-size-fits all approach to vaccination punishes those at greater genetic and biological risk for suffering harm from vaccines.
Mandatory vaccination policies without exemptions also penalize those holding religious or conscientious belief objections to vaccination. It is unfair, irresponsible and unethical for employers to force health care workers to choose between their health, their deeply held spiritual or conscientious beliefs or their job. In the past two years, we have seen an increase in the number of harassment reports made by health professionals to NVIC. They are reporting they are being threatened and fired from their jobs for declining influenza vaccination even though:
(1) they have already suffered previous vaccine reactions that their employers refuse to recognize as serious enough to qualify for a medical exemption because those reactions to not adhere to strict CDC contraindication guidelines; or
(2) they have a personal or family history of severe allergies, vaccine reactions, autoimmune or neurological disorders that employers reject as qualifiers for a medical exemption because the CDC does not list those medical conditions as a reason to defer vaccination; or
(3) they have deeply held spiritual or conscientious beliefs that oppose vaccination but the employer refuses to grant an exemption because the health care worker does not belong to an organized religion or church with a tenet opposing vaccination, which is a violation of constitutional rights.
As a result, these health care professionals – some of them with decades of experience on the front lines caring for patients – find themselves on the street with no job or income during these hard economic times. This should not be allowed to happen in America."
OSHA Opposes Mandatory Flu Shots
The largest national nurses union opposes mandatory flu vaccination as a condition for employment, eNews Park Forest recently reported. The National Nurses Union (NNU) is also calling for members of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee who are also pharmaceutical representatives from Pfizer and Novartis to recuse themselves from voting on this issue. These companies will make millions of dollars from the flu vaccine sales that a mandate would create. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has also issued a statement opposing mandatory flu shots for health care workers without exemptions, stating[iii]:
"While we are supportive of the Healthy People 2020 goal of a 90 percent vaccination rate, we have seen no evidence that demonstrates that such a high rate is in fact necessary. Furthermore, the current influenza vaccine is no magic bullet.
The current state of influenza vaccine technology requires annual reformulation and revaccination and the efficacy is quite variable. Every year there are numerous circulating strains of influenza that are not included in the vaccine. In years where the antigenic match is good, the vaccine only provides protection against the 3 strains in the formulation. In years when the antigenic match is poor, the vaccine may provide no protection at all.
The limits of current influenza vaccine technology are especially problematic in the context of a mandatory influenza vaccination program that results in job loss. Lastly, reliance on a mandatory influenza vaccination policy may provide healthcare workers, health care facility management and patients with an unwarranted sense of security and result in poor adherence to other infection control practices that prevent all types of infections, not just influenza. Influenza vaccination has always been just one part of a comprehensive multi-layered infection control program."
Understand the Risks You Take Before You Take Them...
If you want a clear illustration of what could happen to you or someone you love, should the seasonal flu vaccine become mandated for all health care workers without exemptions, take a look at this video profile of a former professor of nursing, who was left completely disabled after a seasonal flu shot. This is a risk every single health care worker would have to take in order to keep their job, should this federal recommendation go through...
Is that really reasonable?
Is Your Doctor Breaking the Law?
The seasonal flu vaccine is not the only vaccine the U.S. government is trying to mandate. The HPV vaccine is another, and it has been associated with many reports of serious injuries and deaths, just like the flu vaccine. In September of last year, California passed bill AB499[iv], permitting minor children as young as 12 years old to be vaccinated with sexually transmitted disease vaccines like Gardasil without parental knowledge or parental consent.
This could be a disaster in the making... Informed consent is especially important when it comes to vaccination because no one can predict whether your child will be one of the children who has a devastating vaccine reaction, such as brain inflammation, paralysis, immune dysregulation, permanent brain damage, or even death. Furthermore, doctors have been notoriously lax when it comes to providing patients with full disclosure of potential side effects. And even if they did inform minor children of vaccine risks, are pre-adolescent children really cognitively and emotionally mature enough to understand them and fully weigh the risks and benefits appropriately? And what about the minor child, who is given one or more vaccines without the knowledge of a parent, and suffers a serious vaccine reaction but the parent, who has been kept in the dark, doesn't even know what is happening?
Lack of disclosure is now coming back to bite at least three Canadian doctors, who are being sued by the parents of a 14-year old girl, Annabelle, who died following her second Gardasil shot[v].
Linda Morin, Annabelle's mother, claims she was not informed by anyone of the side-effects linked to Gardasil, and that the doctors were negligent in their treatment of her daughter, as she suffered apparent side effects of the vaccine right after her initial dose. The symptoms: vomiting, confusion, incoherence and inability to speak or walk, was simply dismissed as a migraine attack. Two weeks after her second inoculation, Annabelle was found dead in the bathtub...
All Americans should know that if your doctor does not provide the CDC Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) sheet, or directly discuss the potential symptoms of side effects of the vaccination you or your child is about to receive BEFORE vaccination takes place, it is a violation of federal law.
You have a right to know!
In addition, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 requires doctors and other vaccine providers to:
- Keep a permanent record of all vaccines given and the manufacturer's name and lot number
- Write down serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths that occur after vaccination in the patient's permanent medical record
- File an official report of all serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following vaccination to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)
If a vaccine provider fails to inform, record or report, it is a violation of federal law.
Together We Can Change this Assault on Your Health Liberty
Non-medical exemptions to vaccination, including the religious and conscientious belief exemptions, are necessary because one-size-fits-all vaccine mandates, such as the one currently being proposed for health care workers violate the ethical principle of voluntary informed consent to medical risk-taking, which is a human right. Ultimately, our goal is to change the health paradigm so that everyone has the unobstructed freedom and legal right to make informed, voluntary choices about medical procedures, pharmaceutical product use and options for healing and staying well.
What You Can Do to Make a Difference
While it seems "old-fashioned," the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the right to informed consent to vaccination and expand vaccine exemptions, is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.
Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.
Signing up to be a user of NVIC's free online Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you access to practical information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. When national vaccine issues come up, you will have the latest information and call to action items you need at your fingertips to make sure your voice is heard.
With one click of a mouse on your computer or touch on your iPhone screen, you can be in touch with YOUR state legislator IMMEDIATELY when NVIC emails you an Action Alert about threats to vaccine exemptions and choices in your state. So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Contact Your Elected Officials
NVIC will help educate you about how to write or email your elected state representatives and share your concerns. You might even want to call them, or better yet, make an appointment to visit them in person in their office. Don't let them forget you!
It is so important for you to reach out and make sure your concerns get on the radar screen of the leaders and opinion makers in your community, especially the politicians you elect and are directly involved in making vaccine laws in your state. These are your elected representatives, so you have a right and a responsibility to let them know what's really happening in your life and the lives of people you know when it comes to vaccine mandates. Be sure to share the "real life" experiences that you or people you know have had with vaccination.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
I also encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at www.NVIC.org:
- NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
- If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
- Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors or government officials for making independent vaccine choices.
Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One that Will Listen and Care
If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care for making independent vaccine choices is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment. Never stay in an abusive doctor/patient relationship.
If you are treated with disrespect or are harassed in any way by a doctor (or government official), do not engage in an unproductive argument. You may want to contact an attorney, your elected state representatives or local media if you or your child are threatened.
However, there is hope.
At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.
So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.