Thanks to misplaced measles mania, vaccine exemptions are under attack again.
Threats to end religious and philosophical vaccine exemptions have just been ratcheted up to an unprecedented federal level. If parents and caregivers are stripped of the ability to make healthcare decisions for their children, reinstating that ability may be nearly impossible. We need to take action now to prevent the government from dictating what is injected into our children.
On Wednesday, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb hinted in a CNN interview that if non-medical vaccine exemptions were not abolished at the state level, federal health agencies may intercede. This is especially ominous considering two critical upcoming vaccine-related hearings recently announced on Capitol Hill:
- Wednesday, February 27, 10:00 a.m. The Energy & Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the current measles outbreak and response efforts.
- Tuesday, March 5, 10:00 a.m. The HELP Committee (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) will hold a hearing, Vaccines Save Lives: What is Driving Preventable Disease Outbreaks?
This is my response, which I sent to my Senator and Representative.
“My body, my choice” applies to more than just abortion. The global human rights standard for ethical medicine is prior, free, and informed consent for all medical procedures, including preventive ones.
My family moved to Nashua from Santa Rosa, CA in the wake of SB277, which mandated vaccines for school attendance. Each of my children has an allergy to different ingredients commonly found in vaccines. Their pediatrician refused to write them a medical exemption “unless they [went] into anaphylactic shock.” That’s a direct quote. He admitted that my children experiencing anaphylactic shock as a result of vaccination was a very real possibility, which is one of the reasons why we chose not to vaccinate in the first place. Why would I knowingly inject my children with something that could kill them?
So, we moved to NH. “Live free or die.” And, four years later, we see that a few cases of measles have whipped legislators into a frenzy. It would be lovely if legislators cared more about the 45,000 people who die every year because they can’t afford health care. Or the 40,000 people who die every year thanks to gun violence. But the 100 or so people who have measles and will likely recover with lifelong immunity to the disease have inspired the idea that some sort of drastic action is necessary.
The fear surrounding measles is dreadfully misplaced. Even before the vaccine was introduced, the mortality rate for measles was very low, about .04-.08%. Although the press likes to use the word “eradicated,” measles case always been cyclical, with about 220 cases in the US every year. There hasn’t been a pediatric death from measles in the US in at least 15 years, and in three decades, there have been fewer than 20 deaths. Compare those numbers with the adverse events.
The CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services commissioned a study to investigate vaccine adverse event reaction reporting. That study found that only 1% of adverse events are reported. As of June 30, 2018, there were more than 90,990 reports of measles vaccination reactions, including 449 related deaths, 6,445 hospitalizations, and 1,706 related disabilities. Those numbers represent only 1% of the actual reactions, which means there were actually closer to 1 million reactions, including 4,490 deaths. Not even 20 deaths from the measles in 30 years, but 44,900 deaths from measles vaccine reactions in the same time frame.
There are very real concerns over vaccine safety. You’ve noted in your many missives how “Big Pharma” is at least partly responsible for the “opioid epidemic.” These are the same people who create vaccines. Vaccines are not made of rainbows and unicorn tails. They are drugs, just like any other. But, unlike any other drugs, the drug manufacturers cannot be held liable for adverse events due to vaccines. Over $4 billion has been paid out for vaccine injuries and deaths, but not from the pockets of Big Pharma. That money comes from our taxes, at this time, a 75 cent per vial tax on each vaccine.
We should all want the safest vaccines possible. Yet, there are no independent safety tests, not for individual vaccines, and certainly not for the entire CDC schedule, which involves infants as young as two-months old receiving six vaccines for eight diseases, including about 13 different strains of pneumonia. As part of the law that gave vaccine manufacturers immunity from lawsuits, the Department of Health and Human Services was supposed to conduct vaccine safety studies. Robert F. Kennedy’s organization, the Children’s Health Defense, recently uncovered that the HHS has failed in its Congressional directive to study vaccine safety for more than 30 years.
As Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” The right to control one’s body is paramount. The government cannot be allowed to dictate medical decisions. To do so gives the government control over our bodies, which is the very definition of fascism.
To reiterate: “My body, my choice” doesn’t pertain only to abortion and reproductive health. It also applies to allowing parents and individuals to make their own medical choices. Vaccination must remain a personal choice.