It is not enough to be informed about the many problems with current immunization policy and practice. We must effectively apply that knowledge to expand our right to make informed choices. Where the rubber meets the road with vaccine rights is in the statutes and regulations that provide or restrict those rights. Therefore, a great deal of my time is spent helping citizens throughout the U.S. present their case to state legislatures about the necessity of the right to make informed choices wherevervaccinesare concerned.
On February 10,2011, citizens of New Hampshire met with a state committee to present their case for the passage of a bill to provide a conscientious exemption toimmunizations. Most states east of the Mississippi River offer only medical and religious exemptions; Mississippi and West Virginia only medical. By invitation and request of an informed New Hampshire activist, I provided the followinginformationfor them to present to the legislative committee that is considering the bill. After having researched and written this document, I am convinced that such a bill represents a level of choice that is not merely justifiable, but rather,a moral and ethical imperative.
The arguments are presented below. They are not comprehensive – books have been written on some of these topics – but the goal with legislatures is to make strong, concise arguments with credible support. Their time is often limited, and their ability to hear alternative points of view potentially limited as well. The question is not so much “What is the whole truth?” as it is “What will get the job done?” The actual letter is available athttp://www.vaccinerights.com/legisl…and revisions to the arguments may appear in the future on the Vaccine Rights website as well.
TEMPLATE: ARGUMENTS FOR THE ENACTMENT OF A PHILOSOPHICAL EXEMPTION TO IMMUNIZATIONS
I. Credit Given to Vaccines for 20th Century Childhood Infectious Disease Declines is Misplaced
Childhoodinfectious diseasedecline throughout the 20th Century is widely but erroneously attributed to vaccines. On average, about 90 percent of infectiousdiseasedeclinepreceded vaccines, while some diseases declined without any vaccines at all such as typhoidfever, scarlet fever, scurvy and tuberculosis.1In fact, some disease rates actuallyincreasedfollowing the introduction of vaccines. For example, during 1962 U.S. Congressional hearings, Dr. Bernard Greenberg, Biostatistics Department Head at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health,2testified that cases ofpolioincreased substantially after polio vaccines were introduced– 50 percent from 1957-58, and 80 percent from 1958-59 – and that the Public Health Service deliberately manipulatedstatisticsto give the opposite impression.3Meanwhile, polio declined in countries that didn’t vaccinate.4Therefore, 20th century disease declines do not support an absolutevaccinemandate.
II. A Reliable Vaccine-Disease Risk-Benefit Assessment is not Feasible
A. First, we do not have precise disease mortality data. For example, with regard to the recent H1N1pandemic, the CDC reported U.S. laboratory confirmed fludeaths(both swine and seasonal) for the 2009-2010fluseason were 2,1175. However, the CDC estimated U.S.swine fludeaths alone at 8870 aa??” 18,3006. In stark contrast, Flu Tracker (Rhiza Labs) estimated only 4642 fatal U.S. swine flu cases.7Documenting disease deaths has been problematic historically as well. For example, in 1974, theCDCdetermined that there were 36 cases ofmeaslesin Georgia, while the Georgia State Surveillance System reported 660 cases.8The truth is, we have only non-precise, widely varying “guesstimates” for disease mortality figures.
B. We know even less about the scope and severity of vaccineinjuryand death. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and National Vaccine Injury and Compensation Program (NVICP) have revealed irrefutably that vaccines cause permanentinjuriesand deaths, but they are inadequate measures of the scope of the problem. TheFDAand CDC have admitted that reported adverse events representas few as 1-10 percent of the events actually occurring.9According to former FDA Commissioner David Kessler, reported events may be less than 1 percent.10Furthermore, “No data get collected, and it remains unknown whethervaccinationincreases the incidence of most [chronic] diseases, particularly rare diseases.”11Where there are huge unknowns concerning how vaccines affect other disease rates, and when the actual number of vaccine injuries and deaths may be up to 100 times greater than the number documented by thefederal government, state governments are ethically compelled to allow a conscientious exemption.