Note: Below is an opinion piece written by Margaret Hetherman that ran in NorthJersey.com. We're encouraged to see that meaningful conversation can be the result of our protests. The pro-vaxxers shout "the science is settled," and ignore reality. Politicians from coast to coast are practicing medicine for all intents and purposes with about as much information on vaccine efficacy and safety as your basic pediatrician, which is to say, NONE. They think any vaccine is a good vaccine and if a vaccine fails, then surely a booster of the same vaccine is the answer. No other product exists where injury is ignored or ridiculed and the corporation and those who administer it are deemed infallible.
On Monday, Jan. 13, the New Jersey Senate failed to pass a bill to repeal the religious exemption for immunizations for schoolchildren. Advocates of informed consent had maintained a loud and vocal presence throughout the process — from passage through the Assembly to last week's "Hail Mary pass" amendment that restricted the mandate to public schools.
Hitting the pause button was the right thing to do. It affords an opportunity for lawmakers to be forthcoming about the specific vaccines and doses they are promoting, consider which are absolutely necessary, put down the “anti-vax” slingshot and work toward cultivating trust.
It’s time to back up words with facts. Sen. Loretta Weinberg, a sponsor of the bill, has said, "The science is settled.” Senate President Stephen Sweeney has vowed that “science" will reign. But neither has produced the data, if any, that informed their decision, much less studies with regard to the safety of an accelerated catch-up schedule.
If it's anything like the New York immunization schedule that affected 26,000 children last year, senators would be wise to take lessons.
On June 13, 2019, when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that repealed the religious exemption, the law went into effect immediately. Youth with special needs who relied on education and support services 12 months per year instantly lost speech therapy, physical therapy, services for autism and dyslexia, and more.
Those attending summer school were given less than two weeks to get first doses for 12 diseases: polio, measles, mumps, diphtheria, rubella, varicella, hepatitis B, pertussis, tetanus, H. influenzae type b, meningococcal disease and pneumococcal disease. (The CDC advises waiting at least four weeks between live vaccines, i.e. MMR, varicella and polio.) Children attending school in the fall were looking at 20-plus vaccines in a single year.
The aggressive bill, passed without public hearing or warning, prompted some officials to voice concern. John V. Dolan, superintendent of schools in East Islip, wrote the judge considering an appeal: “As an educator for 34 years, I am deeply disturbed ... religious exemption has never caused one issue or one problem.” READ MORE AND COMMENT HERE.