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'Star Wars' protest against forced vaccinations in California

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened May 31, 2019, at Disneyland Resort in California, and a small group of “freedom fighters” staged a protest against forced vaccinations outside the entrance
  • Dressed as Star Wars characters and holding signs in protest against mandatory vaccinations, the protestors took the opportunity to demonstrate against this violation of informed consent rights
  • A number of states are eliminating conscientious, philosophical and religious belief vaccine exemptions, leaving only medical exemptions signed by a state-approved doctor or other medical worker but, according to federal vaccine use guidelines, almost no health condition qualifies for a medical exemption
  • California SB 276 would restrict medical vaccine exemptions to those approved by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
  • California Department of Public Health officials would have the ultimate say in whether a child’s health condition meets the CDC’s narrow guidelines to qualify for a medical vaccine exemption
  • It’s estimated that nearly half of children who are currently attending day care or school with medical vaccine exemptions may be denied entry this coming school year if the new bill becomes law

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opened May 31, 2019 at Disneyland Resort in California, and a small group of "freedom fighters" staged a protest against forced vaccinations outside the entrance. Dressed as Star Wars characters and holding signs in protest against mandatory vaccinations, the protestors took the opportunity to demonstrate against this violation of informed consent rights. As the video explains:

"A small group of freedom fighters took this opportunity to spread truth about the sinister mandatory vaccination laws plaguing the nation. These activists stood in front of all entrances to Disneyland holding signs exposing the truth about the vaccine program.

No one entering the park that day could avoid moving past these activists and the truth they came to spread in hopes to restore freedom to the galaxy."

Why is Disney an opportune place to learn about vaccinations?

The activists likely chose the location because crowds of up to 200,000 people were expected to visit the theme park that day,1 presenting an opportunity to gain lots of exposure.

The fact remains that a number of states are eliminating conscientious, philosophical and religious vaccine exemptions, leaving only medical exemptions signed by a state-approved doctor or other medical worker — but, according to federal vaccine use guidelines, almost no health condition qualifies for a medical exemption.

In June 2019, New Yorker parents lost their right to obtain a vaccine exemption for religious belief for their children to attend school. Earlier in the year, the Washington legislature voted to remove the personal belief exemption for the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. Effective September 1, 2021, parents in Maine will not be able to send their children to school with a religious or philosophical belief vaccine exemption as well.2

"The legal right to obtain a flexible medical, religious and conscientious or philosophical belief vaccine exemption is being threatened in many states with bills proposing to severely restrict or remove exemptions from vaccine mandates," the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) explains.3

This violates your right to informed consent, which means you have the right to be fully informed about the benefits and risks of a medical intervention and the freedom to make a voluntary decision about whether or not to accept those risks without being coerced or punished for your decision.

The right to make an informed decision about any and all medical procedures, including vaccination, is essential for personal freedom as well as individual health, especially in light of research that shows some people are more susceptible to adverse reactions to vaccines than others. According to a 2012 report from the Institute of Medicine:4

"Both epidemiologic and mechanistic research suggest that most individuals who experience an adverse reaction to vaccines have a preexisting susceptibility.

These predispositions can exist for a number of reasons — genetic variants (in human or microbiome DNA), environmental exposures, behaviors, intervening illness, or developmental stage, to name just a few — all of which can interact …

Some of these adverse reactions are specific to the particular vaccine, while others may not be. Some of these predispositions may be detectable prior to the administration of vaccine; others, at least with current technology and practice, are not. Moreover, the occurrence of the adverse event is often the first sign of the underlying condition that confers susceptibility."

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Some Disney 'measles' cases may have been vaccine reactions

In early 2015, Disneyland was the site of a measles outbreak5 that brought the state's vaccine exemptions into the spotlight. However, a portion of those affected may have been experiencing a reaction to the live virus measles vaccine.

In a Journal of Clinical Microbiology paper, researchers described new technology developed to "rapidly distinguish between measles cases and vaccine reactions to avoid unnecessary outbreak response measures such as case isolation and contact investigations." According to the paper:6

"During the measles outbreak in California in 2015, a large number of suspected cases occurred in recent vaccinees. Of the 194 measles virus sequences obtained in the United States in 2015, 73 were identified as vaccine sequences."

In other words, 37.6% of suspected measles cases in the 2015 Disneyland measles scare in California were actually vaccine strain measles infections and not caused by transmission of wild-type measles.

The CDC currently recommends that children get two doses of MMR vaccine; the first dose is recommended between the ages of 12 and 15 months, and the second dose between 4 and 6 years. The second dose was recommended starting in 1989, "in response to instances of primary vaccine failure of one dose."7

Measles outbreaks in the U.S. highlight increasing instances of vaccine failure and some have called for a third "booster" dose of MMR. But here's an important distinction: While there is an assumption that getting a second or third "booster" dose of MMR will "boost" immunity to the diseases, this may or may not be the case.

Provided a person has already responded to the first MMR vaccination, there is a question about whether a second or third dose will give a "boost" in vaccine-acquired immunity that is long-lasting.

According to the CDC, "Although some persons who develop normal antibody titers in response to a single dose of MMR vaccine will develop higher antibody titers to the three component vaccines when administered a second dose of vaccine, these increased antibody levels typically do not persist."8

In other words, if you already responded to the first MMR dose, getting a second (and perhaps third) may not typically give you any more or longer-lasting protection.

Medical vaccine exemptions under fire in California

The 2015 Disneyland measles outbreak led to legislation in California to limit parents' ability to make voluntary vaccine choices for their children. SB 277 became law June 30, 2015, prohibiting parents from sending their children to day care centers and schools with a personal belief exemption for religious or philosophical beliefs.9

This year, SB 276 was introduced to further tighten the last remaining vaccine exemption — the medical exemption — to a small list of contraindications approved by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Further, state department of public health officials — not a child's personal physician — would have the ultimate say in whether a child's health condition meets the CDC's guidelines to qualify for a medical vaccine exemption.

It's estimated that nearly half of children who are currently attending day care or schools with medical vaccine exemptions may be denied entry this school year if the new bill becomes law. The bill has been met with an outcry from parents, especially parents of children who have suffered vaccine reactions or are already vaccine injured and who may now be forced to receive all state-mandated vaccinations in order to attend public school or daycare.

"Someone like my daughter, who suffered 16 seizures after her first and only vaccination, would not qualify," Michelle Sabino of Orange County told the Los Angeles Times. "She would be forced to be vaccinated in order to attend kindergarten."10

Homeschooling booming as vax mandates increase

California's increasingly restrictive vaccine mandates may not be having the intended effect of forcing more children to get vaccinated, as some parents are instead choosing to homeschool their children.

According to a Los Angeles Times investigation of California state data, there were 6,741 home-schooled unvaccinated kindergartners in California during the 2018-2019 school year, compared to 1,880 during the 2016-2017 school year.11

Nationwide, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that the percentage of students who were homeschooled doubled from 1999 to 2012, rising from 1.7% to 3.4%. As of 2016, 3.3% of U.S. students in grades K to 12 were homeschooled.12

There is some debate as to whether vaccination mandates are a driving force in rising homeschooling rates. Some parents, for instance, cite academic standards as their primary driver in seeking alternative schooling. Still, for some parents already interested in homeschooling, California's strict vaccine requirements could be the catalyst that persuades them to opt out of enrolling their children in public school.

"Those who do opt to home-school have been considering it [for other reasons] already, and the legislation would be the final push that they need to make that leap," Julie Schiffman, a homeschooling mom in California, told the Los Angeles Times.13

That being said, not all homeschooled children are unvaccinated. One study suggested 38% of homeschooled families had fully vaccinated children while 56% reported partial vaccination and just 6% said their children had received no vaccines.14

Yet another report, published in the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, suggested homeschooled families should be targeted with vaccine mandates and not allowed to make medical decisions for their own children. Some are suggesting that parents of homeschooled unvaccinated children should be charged with neglect and their children barred from school activities as a coercive incentive for compliance:15

"States should encourage parents to get their homeschooled students vaccinated through enacting the same laws as those used for public school students. This could be done by enforcing current laws through neglect petitions or by requiring that children be immunized before participating in school sponsored programs.

As most states require some filing to allow parents to homeschool their children, it would be easy to enact laws requiring that homeschooled children be immunized or exempted before completing registration."

Watch ACIP make your pharma choices

In the video above, you can watch the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) discuss the hepatitis B vaccine. ACIP tells the CDC which vaccines should be included on the recommended childhood vaccination schedule. As you can see, when asked for data on using this vaccine at the same time as other adjuvanted vaccines, they had "no data to make a recommendation one way or the other."

Despite this, the vote was unanimous in favor of adding the vaccination to the schedule. The CDC states, "Vaccines are tested to ensure that they are safe and effective for children to receive at the recommended ages,"16 but this isn't the whole truth, problems ranging from inadequate testing to questionable testing are rampant.

For example, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil is supposed to prevent infection by certain strains of HPV virus, which in rare cases may cause cervical cancer if left untreated.

However, trial data from Merck shows that Gardasil vaccinations may actually increase your risk of cervical cancer by 44.6% if you have been exposed to HPV strains 16 or 18 prior to vaccination.17 ACIP has also been plagued by conflicts of interest. As noted by Children's Health Defense:18

" … [F]our out of eight members of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) 'who voted to approve guidelines for the rotavirus vaccine in June 1998 had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that were developing different versions of the vaccine.'"

You have a right to informed consent

Demonstrations like the Star Wars-themed protest are increasingly necessary because there's an ongoing effort to shut down all public discussion about vaccines and their side effects, as an increasing number of vaccinations are added to the childhood schedule. According to Barbara Loe Fisher, cofounder and president of NVIC:19

"For children born in America in 1983, the federal government recommended 23 doses of seven vaccines given between two months and 6 years old. Today, the child vaccination schedule is 69 doses of 16 vaccines given between the day of birth and age 18, with 50 doses administered before age 6, at a current price tag of more than $3,000 per child.

… For children born in America in the years to come, that vaccine list and cost could double or triple.

The World Health Organization is encouraging drug companies to fast-track more than a dozen new 'priority' vaccines to market for children, pregnant women and adults — and you can be sure industry will lobby governments to mandate all of them — respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), streptococcus A & B, HIV, herpes simplex virus, gonorrhea, E-coli, Shigella, Salmonella, tuberculosis, malaria and more.

Where is the scientific evidence to support the assumption that forcing everyone to use more and more vaccines to atypically manipulate our immune systems and repeatedly provoke inflammatory responses in our bodies throughout life will produce better health for all?"

This is precisely the point, and the reason why vaccine choice is a necessity — one that defines the freedoms that the U.S. was founded upon.