Historical Perspectives

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.

… And again in 2012, 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. *

* See media reports:



-Jennifer Stella, June 6, 2016