Why Choice?

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Vaccination has ALWAYS been a voluntary procedure in the State of Vermont.

And, Vermont citizens have long-held reservations against compulsory vaccination. For more than a century, (and long before the industry was indemnified from product liability – in 1986), this debate has been quite active.

For example, in 1912, there was a “Vigorous Discussion Over Vaccination” (in the era of smallpox) that was captured in the Barre Daily Times, November 15, 1912.

One can also read about the grave concerns expressed by citizens like F.E. Simpson of Glover, Vermont: He warned about our fundamental rights and liberties being at risk due to medical politics (see the Orleans County monitor, January 12, 1921).

In more recent times, there was Marcia Bruno’s insistence that parents have the ultimate choice when it comes to vaccination for their children. She wrote her letter as the state board of health and pediatricians were pushing for mandatory school vaccination laws in 1979. Marcia Bruno’s plea ended in a vote that added broad discretion in vaccine decision-making for Vermont parents in 1979.

In 1979, “Moral Exemptions” and “Religious Exemptions” were built into the original “school immunization” law in Vermont. Lawmakers and doctors respected that parents must always reserve the right not to inject a serum into their children, whether they are religious or not, because the product could cause harm. Click here to view/download the original “exemption” form.

Just seven years later, in 1986, Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, shielding vaccine manufacturers and doctors from civil product liability and malpractice lawsuits when a permanent disability or death is caused by a vaccine.

If the AAP and CDC’s vaccine “recommendations” are followed, babies born in 2016 will receive 50 injections by age 18. This is seven times the number of injections recommended in 1983, before industry was freed from liability for product harm.

In 2007, Merck and some legislators tried, but failed, to mandate the HPV vaccine for school entry in Vermont. At that time, “Moral Exemptions” were re-named to “Philosophical Exemptions.”

In 2011, the Supreme Court decided Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, prohibiting any individual from filing a civil suit for a defectively designed vaccine in any US court. Pharmaceutical companies and doctors now enjoy extraordinary protection against liability for vaccine injury or death that may occur after they “give” a vaccine.

In 2012, “Philosophical Exemptions” were upheld in a vote of 133-6. At that time, the Vermont legislature displayed an overwhelming support for parental choice in such medical decision-making. It was only in 2015 that industry pressure became too much.

In 2015, using a national campaign to spread fear of measles, and after intense lobbying by pharma and the medical industry, “Philosophical Exemptions” were deleted from Vermont law on July 1, 2016. In addition, Health Department employees have modified “required educational material” and are choosing to withhold important product risk information from parents.

Today, only “Religious Exemptions” remain available to Vermont parents, unless you can secure a medical exemption from your doctor. We are told by parents they are impossible to get, because pediatricians refuse to acknowledge or make any connection between vaccines and their side effects.

Parents need to understand that it is critical to have consent and choice in a free society.

Click here to view/download a RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION form.

Click here to view/download a MEDICAL EXEMPTION form.

written by: Jennifer Stella

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