We want the option to choose at any time, before or after we have tried conventional pharmaceutical offerings.  If conventional approaches do not help the problem or if we feel the risks of pharmaceutical drugs/biologics outweigh the benefits, we want to the option to say no and/or use other modalities, including (but not limited to):

We first came together over the “vaccine choice” issue. Here’s why:
  • In 2018, Vermont babies are expected to get 38 vaccine doses for child care, unless parent files an “exemption“; this includes vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases in infants, and for chickenpox. Dozens more shots are recommended for teens.

From 1979 until 2012, Vermont state law provided for informed consent — and parents could freely exercise their moral, philosophical or religious beliefs rights.

The process was: “I request that following immunization(s) be waived because they conflict with free exercise of religious rights and /or moral (philosophic) rights.” Parents signed a simple written form.

This is because vaccination is a medical procedure that can cause untoward effects, including encephalopathy (which can lead to permanent brain injury) and death. In the US, health damage (including death), caused by vaccination resulted in many lawsuits against vaccine makers (drug makers), until they claimed a crisis and were shielded from liability in an act of US Congress in 1986 (- for more info., see Harvard publication here).

The National Childhood Injury Act of 1986 granted economic immunity to pharmaceutical companies for injuries caused by their vaccines[1]. The 1986 Act thereby eliminated the market force that drives safety for all other products – actual and potential product liability. Today, should injury occur, it falls entirely on the parents of a child to petition the government and prove the vaccine caused the injury.

No liability for harm

Since the late 1980’s, pediatricians and drug companies have not had to answer to allegations of vaccine injury through traditional lawsuits. Instead, a “no-fault” alternative compensation program was set up (see: “Reagan Signs Bill on Drug Exports and Payment for Vaccine Injuries”- New York Times, November 15, 1986). Under this arrangement, vaccine injury cases are processed not through the traditional judicial system, but through Special Masters at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

To be considered for compensation after vaccine injury, those who believe they have been injured (or their parents/next of kin) must file a petition/claim inside a proscribed statute of limitations, and prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the disability/death was actually caused by the vaccine. US Department of Justice attorneys argue against the petitioners/claimants on behalf of the US Secretary of Health and Human Services, asserting that the injury was caused by some other factor and not by the vaccine(s).

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed this special vaccine liability shield stating that vaccines are unavoidably unsafe and that a vaccine manufacturer cannot be held liable as long as the product is properly prepared and accompanied be adequate warning.[2]

Each vaccine product is different. Each vaccine comes with inherent risk and as such, is accompanied by warning information in vaccine package inserts, which are regulated by the FDA.  Although most people believe the science is settled and vaccines are perfectly safe, drug (vaccine makers) do provide consumer product warnings inside “package inserts” for each vaccine.

In the US, the FDA regulates the contents of these package inserts (labels) that accompany the product to the doctor or health department office. From these FDA regulated labels, one can plainly see that there is evidence of severe, life threatening side effects or, in some cases the risks have not been evaluated, for every vaccine approved by the CDC and recommended for use in mass “immunization” campaigns.[3].

According to the CDC, approximately 30,000 vaccine adverse event reports are filed each year to the US government. About 85-90% of the reports describe mild side effects such as fever, arm soreness, and crying or mild irritability. The remaining reports are classified as serious, which means that the adverse event resulted in permanent disability, hospitalization, life-threatening illness, or death[4].

In Vermont, in the first seven (7) months of 2018, the following reports were received from consumers:

The many advising your legislature (except choice advocates) tend to discount VAERS reports. The proponents of mandatory (school or employment) vaccinations (which include the AAP, Vermont Medical Society, and Hospital CEO’s – all of whom profit off of vaccination), tend to say vaccines are safe and effective and that the science is settled. Why would anyone want to say no to such wonderful products? “And anyhow you can always home school….” (or be fired from your job?)

VAERS reports are unsubstantiated and correlation is not causation in the case of reported reactions. But they should still be taken seriously. And investigated. Just as drugs are (prescriptions drugs have their own separate database, called FAERS).

The bill introduced to require VAERS visibility (H247 (2017-2018 session),  would have required the Vermont health dept to prepare summary VAERS reports and present them annually to the legislature. Sadly, the bill was not a priority for the members of the Vermont Health committee.

If you have been affected by a vaccine – please consider documenting your story and sharing it publicly.

VAERS is the centralized system for adverse events reporting. It is THE passive collection system of reports which are supposed to serve as safety signals, to trigger investigations. And in fact reports to VAERS have triggered a couple of investigations and even product recalls. To say the reports do not matter, should not be looked at by the public is irresponsible. This is the official FDA and CDC system. Every single piece of paper they hand out (VIS’s) directs consumers to this system if they should suffer a reaction. So yes – consumers should look at VAERS reports and know that other consumers report horrific experiences.

Not all are reactions can be directly linked to the vaccine(s), still more are never reported. But each and every one report can and should be investigated. To say the data should not be taken seriously is irresponsible and reckless.

(Learn more about VAERS here)

Those injured by a vaccine must petition US government “special masters” for compensation and prove their injury was caused by a vaccine (see vaccine injury table). Federal government payouts for vaccine injury and death as of June 2017 total $3.7 Billion[5].

[1] National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-1 et seq. http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/vaccine-program-readmore

[2] Bruesewitz v. Wyeth https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-152.pdf

[3] US Food and Drug Administration, Vaccines Licensed for Use in the United States https://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm093833.htm?mc_cid=507bfbc377&mc_eid=d9ddda5b75

[4] US Center for Disease Control (CDC)


[5] National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) Statistics Report, June 2, 2017 https://www.hrsa.gov/sites/default/files/vaccinecompensation/data/vicpmonthlyreporttemplate5_1_17.pdf

The United Nations Universal Declaration on Bioethics Article 6 – Consent, states:

1. Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information. The consent should, where appropriate, be express and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without disadvantage or prejudice.

2. Scientific research should only be carried out with the prior, free, express and informed consent of the person concerned. The information should be adequate, provided in a comprehensible form and should include modalities for withdrawal of consent. Consent may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without any disadvantage or prejudice. Exceptions to this principle should be made only in accordance with ethical and legal standards adopted by States, consistent with the principles and provisions set out in this Declaration, in particular in Article 27, and international human rights law.

3. In appropriate cases of research carried out on a group of persons or a community, additional agreement of the legal representatives of the group or community concerned may be sought. In no case should a collective community agreement or the consent of a community leader or other authority substitute for an individual’s informed consent.

Of course children are a grey area in this case – a loophole, if you will, in the issue of consent. And as we learned in 2012, there are certain people (“bioethicists”), who believe the State should intervene and vaccinate your children should you refuse.

For more, visit the Legislative Testimony page.

written by: Jennifer Stella