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California Vaccine Personal Belief Exemptions in Jeopardy

by Randall Neustaedter OMD

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I am passing along this important information from the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) so that you can protect your rights to vaccine exemptions. Please ask your representatives to oppose AB2109.

Contact California Legislators NOW to Oppose AB2109

Your rights to make informed independent vaccination choices for your family are under attack by forced vaccination proponents in California who want to profit from restricting your independent access to a personal belief exemption to mandatory vaccination.  We need your timely help to contact California legislators to oppose Assembly Bill 2109.

AB2109, introduced by Assembly Member Richard Pan, who himself is a pediatrician, would impose these additional costly and time consuming burdens on parents wanting to use a personal belief exemption to:

1)    pay for an expensive appointment at a medical doctor’s office to be given vaccine risk and benefit information that is already available online for free; and

2)    jump through the bureaucratic hoops of obtaining yet additional new forms provided by the Department of Public Health which state that the health care practitioner has provided risk and benefit information to the parent; and

3)    find a health care provider actually willing to take the appointment and then sign the new forms within 6th months of starting school for the exemption to be valid.

This raises many questions legislators need to answer including:

How will the state pay for all these extra required office visits for families on public assistance and for the kids of state employees who have their health coverage provided by the state?

What happens to a parent who can’t find a provider willing to make these types of appointments and then sign the form?

What will stop doctors from using this law to deny access to philosophical exemptions? It is already hard enough for families to find providers who are willing to just treat children in their practice at all when they deviate from the required vaccination schedule.

The bill has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Health.  Text of the bill can be found here:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_2101-2150/ab_2109_bill_20120223_introduced.html.

In the meantime, we need you to take the following actions to help oppose this bill:

1) Contact your state senator and state assembly member and ask them to oppose AB2109.   If you log in to the NVIC Advocacy Portal at http://NVICAdvocacy.org and view this alert on the California state page, we will automatically lookup who your legislators are and display them to the right of this alert. You can click on their names to open up their contact information.  This free confidential service requires your registration and login in order for us to be able to calculate who you legislators are.

2) Contact members of the Assembly Committee on Health and ask them to oppose AB 2109 (suggested phone call outline below).

William Monning (D) –  Chair
Tel: (916) 319-2027
Fax: (916) 319-2127

Dan Logue (R) – Vice Chair
(P) 916-319-2003
(F) 916-319-2103

Tom Ammiano (D)
Tel: (916) 319-2013
Fax: (916) 319-2113

Toni Atkins (D)
Tel: (916) 319-2076
Fax: (916) 319-2176

Susan Bonilla (D)
Tel: (916) 319-2011
Fax: (916) 319-2111

Mike Eng (D)
Tel: (916) 319-2049
Fax: (916) 319-2149

Martin Garrick (R)
(P) 916-319-2074
(F) 916-319-2174

Richard .S Gordon (D)
Tel: (916) 319-2021
Fax: (916) 319-2121

Mary Hayashi (D)
Tel: (916) 319-2018
Fax: (916) 319-2118

Roger Hernandez (D)
Tel: (916) 319-2057
Fax: (916) 319-2157

Bonnie Lowenthal (D)
Tel: (916) 319-2054
Fax: (916) 319-2154

Allan R. Mansoor (R)
(P) (916) 319-2068
(F) (916) 319-2168

Holly J. Mitchell (D)
Tel: (916) 319-2047
Fax: (916) 319-2147

Brian Nestande (R)
(P) 916-319-2064
(F) 916-319-2164

Richard Pan (D) – sponsor
Tel: (916) 452-0505
Fax: (916) 452-5525

V. Manuel Perez (D)
Tel: (916) 319-2080
Fax: (916) 319-2180

Jim Silva (R)
(P) 916-319-2067
(F) 916-319-2167

Cameron Smyth (R)
(P) 916-319-2038
(F) 916-319-2138

Das Williams
Tel: (916) 319-2035
Fax: (916) 319-2135

 

Additional contact information for district offices is available by clicking on the assembly members name here – http://ahea.assembly.ca.gov/membersstaff

Emails are listed as assemblymember.lastname@assembly.ca.gov

3) Let us know if you can help with the hearings by contacting NVIC CA State Directors, Dawn Winkler or Michelle Gutierrez, at CADirector@NVICAdvocacy.org or call Dawn Winkler at (530) 283-1018. if you

a) are willing to attend the committee hearings and/or testify against the bill; or

b) have a family member who has suffered an adverse reaction to a pertussis containing vaccine and are willing to provide written or oral testimony against the bill while describing that reaction; or

c) you have been thrown out of your doctor’s office for delaying or declining a vaccine and are willing to share your story with legislators; or

d) you are a health care provider who is willing to provide testimony against the bill.

 

4) Send this to as many friends and family in California that you can and ask them to please register for the NVIC Advocacy Portal at http://NVICAdvocacy.org so they can get added to this state email list and receive updates how they can help fight this bill during this session.  TO LIKE AND SHARE THIS ALERT ON FACEBOOK, link to http://nvicadvocacy.org/members/Resources/CAOPPOSEAB2109RestrictingVaccineExemptions.aspx and click on “like” or “send” by the Facebook tag on the top of the page.

Sample Phone Plan:

·         Call the office number and introduce yourself and ask to talk to someone about AB 2109. If this is your assembly member’s office, let them know you are a constituent and what town/city you are from.

·         Let the appropriate person know you are opposed to AB 2109 because it requires you to have to pay for an extra medical office visit you don’t want or need, it requires additional bureaucratic paperwork, and as a parent if this passes, you have no guarantee you will be able to find a provider who will take these appointments or sign the form. (If you’ve ever been harassed by a doctor before or denied care, this is a great place to talk about this).

·         Let the legislative office know that this bill wastes your time and money because you are already well educated on vaccine risks and benefits (explain the steps you have taken to educate yourself above and beyond any handout could provide).

·         Let them know about your personal story what got you involved in this issue and why an unrestricted personal belief exemption is important to your family especially if anyone in your family has had a vaccine reaction.

Additional Talking Points Against AB 2109 to be used in your written letters/email:

·         Forcing parents into a paid contractual relationship with a health care provider they wouldn’t otherwise utilize for their children’s health care is not only a violation of basic parental rights, it creates distrust and resentment towards public health programs run by the state.

·         Especially in California, many families utilize health care providers not reliant on pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, and only practitioners part of the pharmaceutical paradigm or medicine are allowed to provide the information and sign the form under this bill.

·         AB 2109 discriminates against families utilizing complementary and alternative medicine by forcing them into paying money to a medical practitioner they wouldn’t otherwise use who is already philosophically opposed to the parent’s personal and religious convictions regarding vaccination.

·         Parents who utilize vaccine exemptions are typically  more educated regarding the risks and benefits of vaccination than both the parents who choose vaccination and aren’t required by this bill to receive this information and the health care providers who would be required to sign the exemption in order for it to be valid.

·         Many doctors’ offices throw families out of their practice for delaying or declining a vaccine.  There is nothing in this bill to prevent a doctor’s office from refusing to take these appointments to begin with or for refusing to sign the form once a family pays for a visit.  These real obstacles will restrict or deny access to the personal beliefs exemption for some families currently using it.

·         The state is not in the financial position to pay for all these extra required office visits within 6 months of school starting for families on public assistance and for the kids of state employees who have their health coverage provided by the state and who want to delay or a decline one or more vaccines.

·         The information required by this bill is already available to parents online for free and coercive measures like this bill do nothing but create and further distrust and resentment towards public health programs run by the state.

·         There is NO current crisis that would indicate that CA needs to make it more difficult to obtain exemptions from vaccination.

·         Most vaccination rates in CA for children 19 to 35 months old for individual vaccines are at or above the CDC Healthy People 2020 goal of 90%. (http://www2a.cdc.gov/nip/coverage/nis/nis_iap2.asp?fmt=v&rpt=tab03_antigen_state&qtr=Q1/2009-Q4/2009)

·         Vaccination rates for children entering kindergarten in California have increased from 2010 to 2011 and are at or above the CDC Healthy People 2020 goals of 90%, except for one category, which is at 89.4%. (http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/immunize/Documents/2011SelectiveReviewResults.pdf)

·         Bill Sponsor Assembly Member Dr. Richard Pan, claims in a press release that his bill will help prevent outbreaks of pertussis. It is important for legislators to understand that the pertussis outbreaks in CA are due to waning immunity of the vaccine, and not because of families taking the exemption.  Here are some references to back this point.

o   “The rise in pertussis doesn’t seem to be related to parents’ refusing to have their children vaccinated for fear of potential side effects. In California, pertussis rates are about the same in counties with high childhood vaccination rates and low ones. And the C.D.C. reports that pertussis immunization rates have been stable or increasing since 1992.”(http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/16/vaccination-is-steady-but-pertussis-is-surging/ )

o   Children can be susceptible to pertussis even if they are completely vaccinated. (http://www.inewsource.org/2011/03/28/experts-zero-in-on-waning-immunity/ )

o   The acellular pertussis vaccine’s failure to deliver durable infection protection to children aged 7-10 years led to the 2010 California pertussis epidemic. (http://www.internalmedicinenews.com/news/conference-news/infectious-diseases-society-of-america-conference/single-article/acellular-pertussis-vaccine-s-waning-immunity-caused-california-epidemic/71de9826f4.html)

o   The pertussis vaccine has been found to wane after only 3 years, leaving a much larger population of fully vaccinated children susceptible to pertusssis than unvaccinated children.  KPBS and the Watchdog Institute performed a joint investigation into the recent increasing pertussis rates in California and found the majority of cases of pertussis were occurring in fully vaccinated populations of children in the 8-12 year old age group.  They went on to show that the vaccine wanes after only 3 years.   (http://www.kpbs.org/news/2011/sep/20/whooping-cough-vaccine-wanes-after-three-years/)

·         Bill supporters claim that vaccines are safe.   The reality is there is real risk.  The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was established by Congress in 1986 to protect vaccine manufacturers and doctors from liability for vaccine injuries and death. As of Jan. 3, 2012, there have been 14,073 claims filed for vaccine injury and 1077 death claims.  The total dollar amount of vaccine injury and death awards granted and paid to families of vaccine victims by our government is $2,366,649,931.96. (http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/statisticsreports.html#Claims)

·         Just for pertussis containing vaccines alone administered in the state of California,  11,516 reports of Vaccine Adverse Events have been filed with the federal government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System where 77% of the reports of adverse events are for children 6 and under.  There have been 5,775 disorders of the nervous system reported and 172 deaths.  96% of the deaths reported were in children three and under.  (http://www.medalerts.org/)

 

 

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) works diligently to prepare and disseminate our legislative advocacy action alerts and supporting materials.  We request that organizations and members of the public forward our alerts in their original form to assure consistent and accurate messaging and effective action. Please acknowledge NVIC as originators of this work when forwarding to members of the public and like-minded organizations. To receive alerts immediately, register at http://NVICAdvocacy.org, a website dedicated to this sole purpose and provided as a free public service by NVIC.

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  • anon

    Letters sent.  Thank you Doctor for bringing this important issue to my attention.