Action Alert for Today, Wednesday July 16, 2014

Dr. Anne Schuchat of the CDC is visiting Vermont tomorrow (Wednesday, July 16, 2014) and a media blitz is planned.

We have been told that Dr. Schuchat will hold private meetings with Health Department staff followed by one-on-one interviews with all major media outlets arranged by the health department. They are expected to highlight whooping cough in Windham County, measles on the borders and plans for HPV vaccination of VT teens.

Also tomorrow, VPR Vermont Edition (at noon) will feature Health Commissioner Harry Chen and Dr. Schuchat. Please be sure to email your comments to VPR at  [email protected], as well as tune in and call in to the show. See:

*ADDITIONAL ACTION NEEDED: Please reach out to your elected representatives, senators and candidates to discuss this important topic. Remind them how important vaccination choice is to you and your family! They need to hear from you, especially since this week a lobby firm mailed out newsletters to all reps and senators in a clear attack against parents who exercise their exemption rights (see:


– Vaccine Choice FAQ’s – click here

– Trifold Brochure – click here

– Analysis:

This is a propaganda effort for the restriction of non-medical vaccine exemptions. There was no “golden age” of higher rates in the past. The 90% plus rates we experience today were not reached until the mid-90’s. Measles vaccination never exceeded 68% in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. DTAP ranged from 63% to 77% pre 1985. Three decades of below 80% coverage largely outbreak free, yet today we are told if we drop from 92% to 91% there will be
epidemics? (see file)

This “14% not fully immunized” is a kitchen sink number, combining “Provisional Admittance” students- who are in the process of catching up with the requirements- with other who are using actual exemptions. An exemption is needed to opt out or delay of even a single dose of any vaccine, so a child who has everything but Chicken Pox (the most exempted vaccine), counts as “exempt”.See for yourself here:

Even with the exemptions, rates for actual coverage exceeded 90% for all vaccines in Public schools in 2013/14 – 6304 Public school Kindergarteners in over 250 schools- Dtap 92.1%, Polio 92.8%, MMR 92.2%, Hep B 94.8%, Chicken Pox 90.4%. By 7th grade Dtap 92.6%, Polio 97.9%, MMR 97.9%, Hep B 97.4%, Chicken Pox 95.5% . This is with the Religious and Philosophical exemption in place since the requirements were first legislated in 1979.
Don’t fall for the private school percentages- there are less than 500 private school kindergartners, spread out over 50 plus schools in the entire state of Vermont. 50 kids who’s parents prefer the low risk and lifelong immunity of a
natural Chicken Pox infection over the vaccine would be a 10% exemption rate.

See slide 20 here for how North Bennington Elementary could have 13 of 14 students fully compliant with Dtap, Polio, MMR, Hep B, and 12 of 14 with Chicken Pox, yet still be counted as a “50% Exempt” school.

Anti-rights proponents try to conflate the use of an exemption with the complete rejection of all vaccination. This is a false assertion. For example the Vermont Department of Health shows in this chart that the exemption use doubled in 2008, when Chicken Pox and Hep B were added as school attendance requirements. Obviously parents were exempting from the new requirements- they were not rejecting the entire schedule.

Very few other countries (>20) use the Chicken Pox vaccine universally- the exemption rate could be cut in half simply by taking it out of the schedule- see the WHO facts here:

This is a re-hash of completely refuted misrepresentations of the vaccination status of Vermont Children that was used in the failed SB 199 / HB 527 bills to try to eliminate the non-medical school attendance exemptions in 2011 / 2012. The proponents were very embarrassed when the 2011 / 12 vaccination report was issued and exemption use was going down and vaccination rates were going up- at the same time they claimed the opposite.

For an extremely detailed deconstruction of the false assertions /etc. ,,, see:


MEDIA UPDATE – who is covering the story fairly?

7/16/2014  WCAX covered this story in a completely one-sided manner. Story:

7/16/2014 NECN Coverage:

7/19/2014 Brattleboro Reformer put out a one-sided editorial: citing whooping cough in the area, even though 10 out of 11 cases were vaccinated.

Also the media seeding started earlier…



7/9/2014: reports 10 out of 11 VT Windham County whooping cough cases were vaccinated