- YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED NOW -
If you support choice, and oppose mandatory vaccination
CALL your Representatives and the Speaker of the House NOW
In a voice vote this week, the House delayed consideration of H98 until Wednesday, May 6th.
This bill now contains an amendment to repeal the philosophical vaccine exemption that was passed by the Senate.
- Friday, May 1st and this weekend:
- Call 802-828-2228 and leave a message for your Representatives. Follow up with an email. Find your Reps' contact information here.
- Call 802-828-2245 and leave a message for Shap Smith. Follow up with an email http://speaker.vermont.gov/Contact_Us/Contact_Us
The 4/22 hearing in the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare, was a pretense at democracy—each side was given just an hour and parents were not allowed to speak. The Senate concluded in an 18-11 vote that they could decide to deny 3,479 children the right to an education if they are not vaccinated to the "schedule."
The debate about compulsory vaccination is fundamentally one of individual control over one's own body versus perceptions of public safety. "When personal liberty is restricted to protect public health, the measures applied must be effective, the least restrictive (i.e. least liberty-infringing), proportional to the risk, equitable and non-discriminatory, minimally burdensome and in line with due process. Those whose liberty is violated should, when appropriate, be compensated, particularly if they experience vaccine-associated side-effects. In addition, individual rights should be restricted only with utmost respect for the dignity of persons." http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/91/4/12-113480/en/
This issue demands an examination from multiple perspectives: human rights, corporate influence, constitutional law, education policy as well as public health. Each of these issuesdeserves a thorough examination by our Legislature, not a repeat of what occurred in the Senate. The families who will be most effected by this decision deserve a public hearing and the ability to testify in committee. Health, Education and Judiciary Committees should all hear of the impact of such draconian legislation.
Please urge your House representative to vote no on H98 without having held full hearings and examining the facts on the Philosophical Exemption. Call and leave a message right now: (802) 828-2228 and call your reps at home this weekend.
These are some of the open questions regarding the Philosophical Exemption:
- There is widespread disagreement about the current vaccination rates in Vermont. The medical societies have publicized statistics that disagree with those from the Vermont Department Health. Multiple formal public record requests to the Vermont Department of Health to release rates from the current school year (2014-2015) are now pending.
- The medical experts argue that vaccination rates below 80%, 85%, 90%, or 95% (a moving target over the years) results in a loss of “herd immunity.” The validity of this concept is based on assumptions that are fed into mathematical models and are subject to interpretation. For this reason, vaccine induced "herd immunity" should not form the basis of a policy to deny human rights.
- The medical lobby insists that children without vaccinations are a risk to others, especially so-called "immuno-compromised children" in schools. However, these children already have special accommodation in the case they cannot attend school. Moreover, recently vaccinated persons pose a risk to the immuno-compromised through viral shedding and waning vaccine-induced immunity is also an issue. Since we do not perform titer testing to see who is immune, the strategy of vaccinating everyone will not achieve anything but enhanced profits and forced vaccination of some who may be at risk for harm from vaccines.
- The Senate has not addressed issues of fundamental fairness. For example, a vaccinated child who is already infected with Hepatitis-B would be allowed in school, while a healthy child not vaccinated for Hepatitis-B would be excluded. A child presumably too sick to attend school will be allowed to attend, while a healthy, partially vaccinated or untreated child will be excluded if the bill passes.
- The education of 3,479 school children hangs in the balance. If these children are excluded from public and independent schools, does the state still have the responsibility to educate them under the common Benefits clause of the Vermont constitution?