February 18, 2015, 3pm
Respectfully Submitted: Jonathan B. Handley, Portland, OR
I was born in 1969. My father worked for the U.S. Government and I spent my childhood living in foreign countries, including the third world. Specifically, I was born in Singapore, then lived in Laos, Mexico, Korea, Japan, India, and the Philippines.
By my sixth birthday, I received a grand total of 5 vaccines (Oral Polio, Measles, DPT, Oral Polio, and Typhoid). I still have my shot records and would be happy to share with the committee.
In 1983, attached as Exhibit A, the 1983 immunization schedule for children by the age of 6 recommended 10 vaccines (DTP, Oral Polio, DTP, Oral Polio, DTP, MMR, DTP, Oral Polio, DTP, Oral Polio).
In 2015, attached as Exhibit B, by the age of 6, the CDC now recommends 37 vaccines for children before the age of 6. (Hep B, Hep B, Rotavirus, DTaP, Hib, PCV, IPV, Flu, Rotavirus, DTaP, Hib, PCV, IPV, Rotavirus, DTaP, Hib, PCV, IPV, Flu, MMR, Varicella, Hep A, Hep B, DTaP, Hib, PCV, Flu, Hep A, DTaP, IPV, Flu, Flu, Flu, Flu, Flu, MMR, Varicella). Because this is so confusing, I’ve attached the CDC schedule with my handwritten notes to count the total vaccines.
Interestingly, as opposed to the 37 we have, many other first world countries give far fewer vaccines to children by the age of 6: Iceland (11), Sweden (11), Singapore (13), Japan (11, and pulled the MMR vaccine due to high injury rate), Norway (13), Hong Kong (13), Belgium (18), Austria (19), Israel (11), Denmark (12), Netherlands (20). Please note that every country listed has a lower under-5 mortality rate than the U.S.
Some other facts:
1. The package insert for Merck’s MMR vaccine, the only option for parents trying to protect against measles states very clearly:
“Routine administration of DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) and/or OPV (oral poliovirus vaccine) concurrently with measles, mumps and rubella vaccines is not recommended because there are limited data relating to the simultaneous administration of these antigens.”
Note: My children and many others receive these vaccines all at once in the United States.
2. Dr. Julian Whitaker, M.D. (Emory University) provides more insight about the paucity of testing of the U.S. schedule:
“You may find this hard to believe, but there is not a shred of evidence to support the safety of giving children so many vaccines, which are administered as early as a few hours after birth and as many as six or eight at a time. And any doctor who assures parents that vaccines are completely safe is flat-out lying…To ascertain immunization safety and efficacy, large comparative studies of the health outcomes of statistically significant numbers of vaccinated and unvaccinated children would have to be conducted. But this has never even been attempted. Yet one vaccine after another has been added to the already overloaded list of required immunizations…Depending upon which vaccine is being administered, a single shot can contain a brew of adulterated bacteria, viruses, aluminum, mercury, formaldehyde, hydrochloric acid, and/or numerous multisyllabic chemical additives. To say that repeated exposures to such a wide range of toxins have no cumulative adverse effects on a child’s developing nervous and immune systems is more than irrational…”
3. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid out over $3 Billion to parents due to vaccines injuring their children.
Vaccines save lives. They also cause harm. They are a medical procedure, and the state should never force a medical procedure which is what you are effectively doing if you take away a child’s right to education without having every CDC mandated vaccine on the CDC’s schedule, the largest vaccine schedule in the free world.
4. PhRMA, the lobbying arm of the vaccine industry, brags that more than 300 vaccines are in development.
“Washington, D.C. (April 20, 2012)— America’s biopharmaceutical research companies are developing nearly 300 vaccines for the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of diseases, according to a new report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). The vaccines – all either currently tested in clinical trials or under review by the Food and Drug Administration – include 170 for infectious diseases, 102 for cancers and eight for neurological disorders.”
If you amend SB 442, will parents simply have to comply with every new vaccine added to the schedule? (Companies would not be developing these vaccines if they didn’t feel there was a market for them.)
5. By tying vaccination to public education, it becomes an effective mandate, as most Oregon families have neither the time, finances, nor abilities to homeschool their children.
A mandate of a medical procedure violates the very core of medical ethics code, as clearly stated by the American Medical Association:
“The patient should make his or her own determination about treatment… Informed consent is a basic policy in both ethics and law that physicians must honor, unless the patient is unconscious or otherwise incapable of consenting and harm from failure to treat is imminent.”
Here’s a quote from attorney Renee Gentry:
“Vaccines are incredibly important, but we should treat them as they are — man-made pharmaceuticals that carry risk. The fear is that if you talk about that at all, people won’t vaccinate. To say there is nothing unsafe about vaccines—when you can have a reaction to an aspirin—makes no sense. Informed consent is the underlying basis of medical care, and parents shouldn’t have to be afraid to raise questions with their doctors. Because yes, vaccine injuries are rare, but they do exist.”
* * *
In the free world, parents have the final say as to what is injected in their children’s bodies without losing the right to have their children educated. Canada, the UK, Japan, Ireland, Israel, Germany, Sweden, Norway, etc., etc., etc., the list goes on of countries who leave the final right for medical decisions to the parents. In fact, the only places in the free world where that right isn’t inalienable without a loss of education are the U.S. states of West Virginia and Mississippi. And, if SB 442 is amended to remove exemptions in Oregon, then our great state will become the third. Is that really who we are?
There is no imminent threat in Oregon. We’ve had exactly one reported case of measles. Please do not succumb to the hysteria of 100 measles cases reported nationwide.
If you paid close attention, what you learned from the recent measles hysteria was that the majority of adult Americans are way behind on their vaccines, which means this notion of “herd immunity” is mythical. How can the herd be protected if 80% or more of adults haven’t had their shots?
On that note, the CDC recommended adult schedule will likely be the next target of compulsory mandates. Right now, between the ages of 19 and 65, the CDC recommends every American adult get 73 vaccines (exhibit C). Are all the committee members up to date on their shots? Certainly, with the passage of any change to SB 442 it would be appropriate for every elected or appointed representative in Oregon to get up to speed on their shots, make that public, and also make the shot records of every one of their children public, too, would it not?
Is this really the world we want? I don’t. I moved to Oregon ten years ago because of this state’s respect and trust in the individual, and because of a history of respecting the inalienable rights and civil liberties of all to make their own decisions. Let’s not model our civil liberties after Mississippi and West Virginia. (By the way, Mississippi is contemplating a law to BROADEN their vaccine exemptions, attached as Exhibit D).
I implore you to leave the current vaccination laws in Oregon alone. They were only recently changed. They are working. They are striking the delicate balance between public health and civil liberties and medical freedom. Using SB 442 to remove exemptions will put Oregon’s government into a fight with many of its parents that no one wants or needs.
Jonathan B. Handley