URGENT ACTION ALERT – UPDATE
WRITTEN COMMENTS NEEDED BEFORE SEPTEMBER 3rd TO SAVE VIRGINIA VACCINE EXEMPTIONS
The September 3, 2016 deadline for public comment on the “School Vaccination Requirements in the Commonwealth,” report pending before the Joint Commission on Health Care (JCHC) is rapidly approaching.
Come November, the JCHC will vote on 9 options presented to them at the end of this biased report. The first option presented in the study is option 1 – TAKE NO ACTION.
Please make your voice heard by writing to the JCHC and ask them to choose option 1. This report may very well encourage Virginia legislators to re-introduce a horrendous new bill in January 2017 to take away religious exemptions and impose strict regulations on medical exemptions. The record for public comment on the 9 options will close September 3, 2016.
This is extremely important. We must keep religious exemptions in VA. If we fail to protect these rights, we can expect to see many more states loose their exemptions.
ACTION TO TAKE:
Submit in writing your objections to the Healthy Living Health Services Subcommittee of the Joint Commission on Healthcare (JCHC) in Richmond, VA by Saturday, September 3, 2016. Let them know you oppose this removal of our rights and freedoms. The message in your comments should be that freedom of religion and conscience is strongly protected in Virginia law and you expect your legislators to respect Virginia’s Constitution.
Be sure to say you support OPTION 1 of the “School Vaccination Requirements in the Commonwealth” report that states TAKE NO ACTION. You should also send a copy directly to your legislators.
Comments should be submitted via:
Mail: Joint Commission on Health Care
P.O. Box 1322
Richmond, VA 23218
NOTE: Comments will be provided to Commission members and summarized and presented during the JCHC’s September 7th meeting in Richmond. On this date, the JCHC will make a 5-minute presentation on the comments that have been received, at 10:00 a.m. in the General Assembly Building. Unfortunately, there will not be an opportunity for verbal comments, so your written comments prior to September 3rd are VERY important.
You may also wish to make an appointment to visit your legislator while they are still in your home district. See list below.
JCHC email list:
email@example.com, DelDBulova@house.virginia.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, DelBCline@house.virginia.gov, email@example.com, DelSGarrett@house.virginia.gov, DelPHope@house.virginia.gov, DelRIngram@house.virginia.gov, DelKKory@house.virginia.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, DelJOBannon@house.virginia.gov, DelCPeace@house.virginia.gov, DelCStolle@house.virginia.gov, DelRTyler@house.virginia.gov,
JCHC phone list: Richmond District Office
Sen. George Barker (804) 698-7539 (703) 303-1426
Del. David Bulova (804) 698-1037 (703) 310-6752
Sen. Charles W Carrico, Sr. (804) 698-7540 (276) 236-0098
Del. Benjamin L. Cline (804) 698-1024 (434) 946-9908
Sen. John S. Edwards (804) 698-7521 (540) 985-8690
Del. T. Scott Garrett (804) 698-1023 (434) 455-0243
Del Patrick A.Hope (804) 698-1047 (703) 486-1010
Del. Riley E. Ingram (804) 698-1062 (804) 458-9873
Del. Kaye Kory (804) 698-1038 (703) 354-6024
Sen. Louise Lucas (804) 698-7518 (757) 397-8209
Sen. John C. Miller (804) 698-7501 (757) 595-1100
Del. John M.O’Bannon, III (804) 698-1073 (804) 282-8640
Del. Christopher K. Peace (804) 698-1097 (804) 730-3737
Del. Christopher P.Stolle (804) 698-1083 (757) 633-2080
Del. Roslyn C.Tyler (804) 698-1075 (434) 336-1710
At the beginning of the legislative session, in January 2016, HB 1342 was introduced and subsequently withdrawn by the lobbyists and obstetricians sponsoring it due to tremendous public outcry. The bill would have eliminated the religious exemption and narrowly defined the medical exception.
Unfortunately, this legislation idea has found new life and was referred to the JCHC who recently issued a biased report that reads like pharmaceutical-funded vaccine promotional material, titled “School Vaccination Requirements in the Commonwealth.” The report gives a one-sided account of vaccine effectiveness and safety and supports the need for “no exemptions” regarding mandated use of government recommended vaccines.
On August 3rd a public meeting was held to review whether or not the JCHC should recommend to the legislature that:
- The religious belief exemption to vaccination be eliminated.
- The medical vaccine exemption be severely restricted to CDC and AAP vaccine contraindication guidelines, removing the ability of physicians to exercise professional judgment and freedom of conscience when granting a child a medical exemption to vaccination.
Thanks to the mobilization of over 500 concerned Virginians the room overflowed with people wearing red shirts with stickers that said, “FREEDOM, CONSCIENCE, RELIGION” to show their unity.
In attendance was Barbara Loe Fisher from The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) who eloquently spoke at the meeting to defend Virginian’s civil and constitutional rights. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzAxnmmU1UU
Fisher wisely pointed out that Virginia’s State Constitution affirms that every citizen is equally entitled to free exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience and shall not be required to support any religious worship or undergo any religious test whatsoever to participate in society.
Freedom of religion is a civil liberty and so is the right to be educated.
If legislation similar to HB 1342 were to become law, VA would have the most restrictive mandatory vaccine laws in the US.
We MUST make our voices heard loud and clear to the JCHC that we OPPOSE mandatory vaccination laws.
If the JCHC makes recommendations to support this type of legislation, they will be calling for the removal of religious exemptions for children attending daycare, school, and those home-schooled. They will also be recommending that medical exemptions written by doctors comply with narrow federal vaccine contraindication guidelines, which means that most children would not qualify.
At the end of the JCHC report, there are 9 options that Delegates and Senators, who are members of the JCHC, will vote on this fall. The recommendation from the JCHC could very well decide whether or not Virginia legislators will reintroduce another bill in January 2017. You have until September 3, 2016 to comment on the report and encourage the JCHC to choose option 1 – TAKE NO ACTION. The message in your comments should be that freedom of religion and conscience is strongly protected in Virginia law and you expect your legislators to respect Virginia’s Constitution.
It is important to argue this point and not try and convince your legislators to introduce personal belief exemptions at this time. You do not have to belong to an organized religion or church in Virginia to take the religious vaccine exemption because your right to hold personal religious beliefs is protected in the Commonwealth.
However, philosophical objection is not protected under the US Constitution like First Amendment rights that protect freedom of religion and conscience. A philosophical or personal belief vaccine exemption can easily be removed in the future with no legal protection for citizens (as happened in California last year).
Your public comment will be included in the count of how many members of the public make a comment and which option gets the most support. This is a very important count as pro-vaccine organizations will be asking their members to support their views.
Please submit your comments in writing to the JCHC by September 3rd. If you have a personal injury story be sure to include that in your comments. Help send a message to Virginia legislators that voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia are going to stand up and fight for the human right to informed consent to vaccination and exercise of conscience and religious belief
- Freedom of religion and conscience is strongly protected in Virginia law and you expect your legislators to respect Virginia’s Constitution.
- Why this is personal to you: a vaccine reaction in someone you know, harassment, etc.
- Virginia has one of the lowest vaccine exemption rates in the country with only 1.1% of kindergarteners filing either a religious or medical exemption. According to the CDC only 305 children have a medical exemption and 891 have a religious exemption. Why persecute 1,200 children?
- Virginia is the hallowed ground where freedom of thought, conscious and religion was defined by our forefathers as a natural right and codified into national law. Virginia has a history of the strongest parental rights in the country and you expect it to stay that way. The 1st Amendments protects religious freedoms and therefor it is a violation of the Virginia Constitution to take away religious exemptions.
- Some vaccines contain aborted fetal tissue and those with religious or moral or any kind of objection should be able to exercise their rights to vaccine exemptions.
- Your body and your children’s bodies do not belong to the state. You want to be free to choose how you nourish and keep yourselves healthy. This type of legislation takes away the right to informed consent to vaccination for our children. I am pro-information and pro-civil rights.
- Vaccines are given to healthy individuals and thus should carry zero risk to the recipient but this is not the case. In fact, the US Supreme Court recognizes vaccines to be “unavoidably unsafe” https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-152.pdf and to cause injury and death in some recipients. The US Government has paid out more that $3 billion to the victims of vaccine injury. Hundreds of thousands have reported an adverse reaction to vaccination. https://vaers.hhs.gov/index
- Vaccine package inserts warn of the risk of brain damage, life-threatening allergy, and death and no one knows in advance who will be harmed by a vaccine.
- Vaccines fail even in fully vaccinated people and no one knows who will not respond to a vaccine nor how quickly the vaccine’s protection will wane if it did provoke a response in the first place. According to the CDC, the 2014-2015 flu shot was only approximately 19% effective. Individuals vaccinated with an acellular pertussis vaccine may show no symptoms yet still become infected and spread pertussis to others including infants.
- Science does not support vaccine mandates of health workers. The Cochrane Collaboration concluded, “There is no evidence that only vaccinating healthcare workers prevents laboratory-proven influenza or its complications (lower respiratory tract infection, hospitalization or death due to lower respiratory tract infection) in individuals aged 60 or over in LTCIs and thus no evidence to mandate compulsory vaccination of healthcare workers”.
- Vaccinated individuals can spread disease for several weeks after receiving a live virus vaccine.
- Vaccine makers and the healthcare providers who administer them bear zero liability for vaccine injuries and deaths. Vaccine makers have no incentive to make vaccines safe.
- Most of the vaccines given today are for diseases that are either rare or mild. For example, there have been no deaths from measles during the last 10 years, but 108 deaths reported after the MMR vaccine during the same time period.
- It is immoral to force a person to inject a pharmaceutical product into their body, or anything for that matter, even more so when that product could injure or kill them.
- There are many other ways to stay healthy: a healthy diet, adequate rest, sunshine and exercise, etc. without any risk of vaccine injury.
- If we mandate vaccines, will we also mandate other medical procedures, such as fetal ultrasound, mammograms and colonoscopy? Will we dictate medical procedures based on genetic testing? Will we have a medical police to determine whether someone can leave the house with a cough?
- Children today receive 69 doses of vaccines for 16 different viral and bacterial illnesses which more than doubles the government childhood schedule of 34 doses of 11 different vaccines in the year 2000. A vaccine exemption is filed regardless of whether it is for one dose or all doses. Thirty-five doses and 5 more unique vaccines have been added to the schedule in the last 15 years. Those supporting forced vaccination are being dishonest by not acknowledging the exploding vaccine schedule while sounding alarms over small increases in overall non-medical exemptions.
- There are hundreds of new vaccines in development and several thousand vaccine clinical trials being conducted, including for infectious and non-infectious diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, HIV/AIDS, genital herpes, RSV, avian flu, asthma, strep B, cytomegalovirus, hepatitis C, tuberculosis, e-coli, salmonella, asthma, diabetes, obesity, anti-cocaine and heroin use. If vaccine manufactures and others who profit from forced vaccination convince legislators to take away our right to decline a vaccine now, what will our future look like?
- In the past 5 years, drug makers have paid the US Government 19.2 billion in criminal and civil FRAUD penalties. Skepticism of the pharmaceutical industry is well deserved.
- Physicians, in the American Medical Association Code of Ethics, affirm philosophical and religious exemptions for themselves. See Opinion 133 Routine Universal Immunization of Physicians. Parents should have that same right.