Why Choice?

Where there is risk, there must be choice

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. Should injury occur, it falls entirely on the parents to petition the government and prove the vaccine caused the injury.

No liability for harm

One major reason there should be choice is that at this time, drug companies have no liability for the harm cause by their vaccines, and thus no incentive to make safer vaccines. In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the liability shield enjoyed by pharma, and also said that vaccines are unavoidably unsafe[2].

Provided the product is properly prepared and accompanied by adequate warning

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[3].

See: The Regulatory Vacuum.

See: Examples of Labeled Vaccine Risks.

Reactions are reported, but largely ignored and not publicly  known to have occurred

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].

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)

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/ensuringsafety/monitoring/vaers/index.html

[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

Fact: Vaccination of school children has ALWAYS been a voluntary procedure, decided by the parents, in the State of Vermont.

Those declining the procedure file what is called an “exemption.”

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. In reviewing the legislative history of the original 1979 law, Dorian dan I found a couple things of interest:

  1. Even after 294 cases of measles in the state the year prior, the wise lawmakers of that time still included the right for a parent to say no based on religious beliefs or moral (philosophical) convictions; and
  2. Lawmakers at that time knew that lawsuits were possible. Lawsuits against the state, town school districts, drug makers, doctors, and school boards were all identified as possible – if a child were to have a bad reaction. The potential for these reactions was openly discussed. This liability was yet another reason why lawmakers at the time emphatically objected – unless parental choice was built into the law.

Click here to view/download the original “exemption” form, which said:

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 the 2008-2009 school year, 5 more shots were added to the kindergarten vaccine dosing schedule: 3 shots for Hepatitis B, IV drug users being the highest risk group, transmitted via sexual conduct and/or exchange of blood or body fluids; and 2 shots for chicken pox, which is generally regarded as a mild childhood illness and a rite of passage. This caused parent philosophical exemption rates to “jump” for years to come.

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.

Also in 2011, the jump in Vermont’s philosophical exemption, that had resulted from new HepB and chicken pox mandates, was stirred in the media  as a “dangerous” drop in vaccination rates. Unelected state employees then openly worked with drug company lobbyists and groups funded by pharma, to try to eliminate parent religious/philosophical exemptions.

That way, in the future, they would be able to add anything to the school schedule, without parents being able to say no.

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.

Today, thank that God, “Religious Exemptions” remain available to Vermont parents, because, the dosing schedule now required in 2017 in Vermont is excessive

Medical exemptions are also available, but 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. Please note that  agency Health Department employees have modified “required educational material” and are choosing to withhold important product risk information from parents.

Click here to view/download a RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION form.

Click here to view/download a MEDICAL EXEMPTION form.

The right to informed consent to any medical intervention that can kill or injure you or your child is a human right.

Consider for example the United Nations Universal Declaration on Bioethics Article 6 – Consent, –  which 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.

 

written by: Jennifer Stella