Common Statement of Opposition



**Common Statement to Oppose Bills to Restrict Exemption Rights**

Whereas vaccines are commercial products legally considered to be “unavoidably unsafe,” like all prescription drugs;

Whereas Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in 1986 (1986 Act), acknowledging that vaccines can cause severe injury and death;

Whereas Congress in the 1986 Act granted almost complete liability protection to vaccine manufacturers and healthcare practitioners for vaccine injuries;

Whereas Congress in the 1986 Act created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) to compensate for vaccine injuries and death;

Whereas Congress in the 1986 Act legislated that no petitioner may bring a lawsuit for any vaccine injury or death from a federally-recommended vaccine in any court except the NVICP;

Whereas Congress intended the NVICP to be a speedy, non-adversarial, no-fault program with no need to prove vaccine injury causation;

Whereas the NVICP is slow, adversarial, requires proof of causation for more than 90% of claims and dismisses most claims;

Whereas the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2011 in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth that no petitioner may state a claim for vaccine design defect in any court at any time;

Whereas the Institute of Medicine and peer-reviewed scientific literature acknowledge that many questions remain unanswered about vaccine safety and science;

Whereas the number of federally-recommended vaccine doses for children has tripled since Congress passed the 1986 Act;

Whereas all states in the United States mandate vaccination of children before they can attend daycare, preschool or school;

Whereas no state has required screening procedures to determine whether children are fit subjects for vaccination;

Whereas individuals may oppose vaccination for themselves and their children on religious, philosophical, medical and personal grounds;

Whereas the global human rights standard for ethical medicine is prior, free and informed consent to all medical procedures, including preventive ones;

Whereas most developed countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, protect the right of citizens to prior, free and informed consent for vaccination;

THEREFORE, we now affirm the right for all individuals, including parents and guardians on behalf of children or incapacitated adults , to prior, free and informed consent to vaccination, which is a preventive medical procedure.

We oppose any law or policy that would coerce people to vaccinate against their religious, philosophical, medical or personal beliefs.

Thus, I/ we OPPOSE the following Vermont bills: 
– H212 (would eliminate both the religious and philosophical belief exemptions); and
– S87 (would eliminate the philosophical belief exemption); and
– H266 (would make mandatory vaccination of school students, teachers, administrators, and staff members);
– H98 /S53 (would allow access to vaccination records by researchers with no penalty for data breach); and
– S9 (would allow special investigative units and DCF to investigate reported cases of illness with no warrant).