by Sayer Ji, Green Med Info:
As of Feb. 18, 2019, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is monitoring more than 100 bills filed in 30 states proposing to expand, restrict or eliminate vaccine informed consent rights.
Over President’s Day weekend, the NVIC Advocacy Portal team issued Action Alerts for vaccine bills introduced in the states of Connecticut, Nevada and Florida that threaten voluntary vaccine decision making, and also issued Action Alerts for the states of Oregon and Arizona that expand the ability to make informed voluntary decisions about vaccination. Additional bills may be filed during the next few weeks and more Action Alerts will be sent to registered users of the Portal.
Washington, Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Oregon and Colorado are among the states that have either introduced bills to restrict or eliminate vaccine exemptions or there have been confirmed reports that similar legislation is under consideration. However, there are also a number of bills proposing to expand vaccine informed consent rights, including in Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia. As of Feb. 18, NVIC has indicated support for 50 of the more than 100 vaccine-related bills introduced so far this legislative session.
Parents and their children line up at a Feb. 8, 2019 legislative hearing in Washington State to oppose a vaccine bill eliminating personal belief exemption.
Since 1982, NVIC has advocated for voluntary vaccine decision-making in the U.S. and the inclusion of flexible medical, religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions in public health policies and laws. In 2010, the free online communications network, the NVIC Advocacy Portal was launched to inform the public about proposed vaccine-related bills and to email Action Alerts to registered Portal users and put them in direct electronic contact with their own legislators.
NVIC monitors and reports on vaccine-related legislation that affects children and adults living in the U.S., including parents of minor children; foster parents; college students; health care providers and other adults whose lives are impacted by vaccination policies and laws.
Among the vaccine bills that NVIC is tracking this year include ones that propose to:
Compromise Vaccine Informed Consent Rights
- Mandate use of new vaccines by children and adults;
- Restrict or eliminate vaccine exemptions;
- Restrict the list of persons who can approve vaccine exemptions
- Allow vaccine providers to administer HPV and hepatitis B vaccines to minors without parental consent;
- Allow forced vaccination and medical treatment under certain circumstances;
- Allow state health officials to mandate all federally recommended vaccines;
- Mandate that doctors and other vaccine providers track and report the vaccination status of all children and adults in electronic medical records;
- Require schools to publicly post vaccination rates or vaccine exemption rates;
- Require a physician signature for a religious or conscientious belief exemption to vaccination;
- Require school districts to conduct health and safety visits for children under private instruction;
- Require vaccines for college students based on CDC (ACIP) vaccine recommendations;
- Require long term care facilities to track vaccination status of employees and residents;
- Expand the release of information in the state vaccine tracking registry (such as to insurance companies);
- Mandate vaccines for vendors serving hospitals and other medical facilities;
- Require all insurance plans to cover all CDC recommended vaccines without copays or deductibles;
- Allow pharmacists, dentists or optometrists to administer vaccines.
Expand Vaccine Informed Consent Rights
- Require vaccine administrators to provide certain kinds of vaccine information to adults or parents of minor children before vaccination;
- Require schools to inform parents of their right to exemptions from vaccine requirements;
- Expand the list of persons who can approve vaccine exemptions;
- Require legislature approval for changes to the list of vaccines required for school attendance;
- Protect employees who refuse vaccination from discipline or discharge;
- Clarify that refusal to vaccinate or delay vaccines is not child abuse;
- Allow serologic (blood titer) proof of immunity in lieu of vaccination;
- Prohibit vaccine mandates for non-communicable diseases;
- Eliminate the ability of state health officials to mandate all federally recommended vaccines;
- Establish that it is unlawful for an employer to mandate vaccines for healthcare employees;
- Require information and notification of vaccines derived from aborted fetal tissue;
- Prohibit managed care entities from imposing requirements relating to vaccination protocol;
- Require parental consent before a child in protective custody can be vaccinated;
- Establish a state database to monitor adverse effects of vaccinations.
Parents and their children demonstrate on the steps of the Washington state Capitol Feb. 8, 2019 in opposition to a vaccine bill that would remove personal belief exemption.
Check the NVIC Advocacy Portal Often
The federal government makes vaccine use recommendations and state governments make vaccine use laws. NVIC primarily focuses on reviewing state bills and making bill updates to the Portal on a daily basis, including creating more detailed background information on bills for Portal users.
Registered users of the NVIC Advocacy Portal are emailed Action Alerts with talking points when there are major calls for action, such as submission of personal testimony or attendance at a legislative hearing in a state Capitol, or the need to immediately contact legislators by phone, fax, email or in-person visits.
Because a bill’s status can change quickly, NVIC Portal users are encouraged to log into the Portal every day to check their own state pages for:
- Vaccine bill descriptions
- NVIC’s position (or changes) on the bill;
- Bill information posted by state legislatures
- Where the bill is in the legislative process
- Talking points and NVIC’s recommendations for action
COMMINICATING WITH YOUR LEGISLATORS
NVIC provides information about proposed vaccine legislation to help Americans become educated about vaccine policymaking and participate in the democratic process when laws are proposed that violates the human right to informed consent to medical risk taking or threatens exercise of freedom of thought, speech and conscience when it comes to making vaccine choices. If you want to have input into the public health law making process, you must establish personal relationships with your elected representatives and voice your concerns.
NVIC encourages that positive action be taken to oppose a bill that places any restriction on medical vaccine exemptions or restricts or eliminates personal, religious or conscientious belief vaccine exemptions or compromises the legal right to make informed, voluntary decisions about vaccination without being coerced or punished for the decision made. Although emails and faxes are important, personal calls and visits to legislators are even more important.
Use the NVIC Advocacy Portal to Contact Your Legislator
Contact information for your state representatives and senators can be obtained by becoming a registered user of the free NVIC Advocacy Portal, logging into the Portal and clicking on the “State Teams” tab and then “My State,” where there is a list of elected officials automatically posted on the right hand side of the page. There is a request for an address when you register for the Portal in order to provide you with personally customized legislator contact information.
Forced vaccination proponents have tried to create an environment in the media and in communities that minimizes the reality of vaccine injuries and deaths. The VAXXED Website, has thousands of video clips of people in different states sharing their vaccine reaction experiences. There is a state map on the VAXXED website where visitors can click on a state and view vaccine injury testimonials. These can be shared on social media and with legislators and staff.