The grassroots vaccine safety and freedom movement in America, which was launched by parents of DPT vaccine injured children in 1982, has been gaining public support during the past quarter century as the numbers of vaccines medical doctors force children to get has more than doubled. From New York and New Jersey to Missouri and Mississippi Americans young and old in big towns and small cities around the nation are joining together to talk about how to change the increasingly oppressive mandatory vaccination laws in their states so they can make informed, voluntary decisions about vaccination.
It is no surprise that decades of collective denial and neglect by the medical community has led to a demand for fewer and more flexible vaccine laws. The calls jamming the phone lines and the emails and letters from desperate parents pouring into the National Vaccine Information Center have never been more alarming or heartbreaking than they are right now.
Mothers describe how they took their child to a pediatrician or public health clinic for a scheduled well baby "check-up" or sick child visit and witnessed nurses and doctors injecting their child with 5 or 8 or 12 vaccines all at once, Then, they say, they watched their children regress into chronic poor health and disability. Many of the children have suffered previous vaccine reactions, which were ignored or dismissed as "a coincidence" by doctors insisting the children be re-vaccinated. Other children are sick and on antibiotics. Others have been born premature or have personal or family histories of severe allergies and autoimmune and neurological disorders.
Over and over again, mothers describe in identical terms what they witnessed, their babies and children suffer following vaccination - seizures, high pitched screaming, collapse, unconsciousness, high fevers, body rashes, head banging, flapping, profound personality changes - cognitive and physical regression that changes the child physically, mentally and emotionally forever. And over and over again, mothers describe how their pediatricians stubbornly deny the vaccines just given had anything to do with what happened.
As someone who has witnessed the proliferation of vaccines and vaccine laws devastate the health of three generations of children, there are no words to adequately describe the pain, despair and fear that has destroyed the once joyful time of young parenting in America today. Children and their parents have become unwilling victims of a medical- industrial complex driven by the profit motive and powered by an ideology that has a callous disregard for individual human life.
It is no wonder that more and more Americans, young and old, are demanding the right to make informed, voluntary vaccination choices for themselves and their families. The grassroots vaccine safety and freedom movement in America is taking root in many states, particularly in those with the fewest exemptions and most vaccine mandates inflexibly implemented.
The conscientious belief exemption to vaccination should be added to the religious exemption in every state and medical exemptions should be widened to provide enlightened physicians with the power to write exemptions for those who do and do not have medical conditions conforming to the narrow one-size-fits-all contraindication guidelines of the CDC and AAP.
The right to informed consent to use of any pharmaceutical product or medical procedure, which carries a risk of injury or death, is a human right. Vaccination should be no exception.
NVIC supports the efforts in every state to change vaccine laws to allow informed, voluntary vaccine decision-making. In Mississippi, parents will be meeting March 17, 2008 at 6 p.m. at the Flowood Public Library, 103 Winners Circle, Flowood, MS to talk about adding a conscientious belief exemption to Mississippi state laws, which only allow a medical exemption. Go to http://parents.meetup.com/465/ for more information.
"As states move to require more vaccines for school-age children, an increasing number of parents are saying no to some of the inoculations. They are seeking exemptions from the state in growing numbers....Rita M. Palma, of Bayport, N.Y., sought a religious exemption from vaccines for her three sons but was turned down after a hearing with school officials. She said she had become increasingly uncomfortable with the vaccines the boys were getting.....After submitting a written request for a religious waiver, she was questioned at a two-hour hearing by the lawyer for the Bayport-Bluepoint School District and turned down last February by the school board. The New York Civil Liberties Union is now pursuing her case. "It is unbelievably traumatic to have your religious convictions questioned," Mrs. Palma said. "For schools to be in the religious sincerity business is just outrageous." Sue Collins, co-founder of the New Jersey Alliance for Informed Choice in Vaccination, said parents often face a variety of roadblocks when seeking vaccine exemptions in the state. "We see schools decline letters, or tell parents that clergy must write letters," she said. "Parents are being harassed and being asked to do things above and beyond the law." Assemblywoman Charlotte Vandervalk, a Republican from Bergen County, who introduced a conscientious exemption bill for vaccines, said parents shouldn't have the burden of proving a religious or medical reason to refuse vaccines. "This is America; you don't force it on everybody," Ms. Vandervalk said." - Fran Silverman, New York Times, (March 2, 2008)
"The point of it is the parents should be in charge of the health care needs of their children," said Drumright, whose daughter is 8 and sons are 6 and 4. "It's not up to the state to dictate to parents how they should make important health care decisions about their children." Sen. John Loudon, R-Chesterfield, said he's considering backing a proposal for a personal exemption. He has headed similar efforts in the past, most recently in 2003. "I am always open to it," Loudon said of the idea of a personal exemption. "I think when a parent does their diligence and has cause for alarm, they should have the authority over government to control the health of their children."......Missouri parents once had the right to exempt their children from immunizations without needing to provide a reason. But the law changed in 1992, and now parents can only opt out of their kids' shots for religious or medical reasons....."As more and more vaccines are being added to the list, that is where you're getting some pushback by parents, and legitimately so," said Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a vaccine safety watchdog agency in Vienna, Va. She said parents are feeling pressured and powerless with all the vaccine mandates. "The one- size-fits all approach to vaccinations ... is simply not medically responsible," Fisher said. "Parents have to be given more flexibility." - Andale Gross, Associated Press (February 29, 2008)
"Tyler's father, Chris Holzinger, said, "After his 2-year-old vaccinations, he became less verbal; eye contact ceased. He started swaying, head-butting, doing a lot of these autistic characteristics." Tyler's parents and 200 others are active in an online support group backing a bill giving Mississippi parents the choice to not have all vaccines....Kellie Bischoff, president of the support group, said,"Well, that's a scary thought, but if you look at the other 48 states with nonmedical exemptions, it really is not an issue. They do not have outbreaks." Just like the other 48 states, the support group wants religious and philosophical exemptions added to the bill. Mississippi and West Virginia are the only states without the exemptions. Even though it's risky, the support group president stopped vaccinating her oldest daughter, Emma, at 2 years old because she had seizures. Her youngest, 2- year-old Addie, hasn't been vaccinated yet. Bischoff said, "If something were to happen and there were a serious vaccine reaction, the parent is ultimately responsible for taking care of this child, not the doctors, not the state, not the school board." - WAPT-TV (ABC affiliate in Jackson, MS) (February 11, 2008)http://www.wapt.com/news