We sent you an alert in August about the Wyoming State Health Department’s proposal to add a meningitis vaccine mandate for school children.
Thanks to the efforts of many concerned citizens, there will be a public hearing in Cheyenne on the proposed rule changes on October 28, 2019. This is an important opportunity to make your voice heard! (See details in the take action section below.)
The proposed rule changes include:
- A new mandate for Meningococcal Vaccine consistent with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Previous waivers do not cover new vaccine mandates – so you would need to get a new religious waiver for this new vaccine requirement.
- Changes the religious waiver to add the word “genuine.” “A waiver of an immunization…must be granted if written evidence of a genuine religious objection is submitted to the State Health Officer or a County Health Officer by the child’s parent.” It’s unclear what they plan to require to prove the “genuineness” of a person’s beliefs.
- Changes in the way evidence of immunity can be submitted in lieu of vaccination for varicella (chickenpox) by adding a requirement for an “epidemiologic link” or “laboratory confirmation”, either by (i) A complete Verification of Disease Statement, found at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/immunization; or (ii) A signed statement from a physician, certifying diagnosis or verification of a history of varicella or herpes zoster by a physician or the physician’s designee.
- Adds a new requirement that medical waivers include whether the contraindication is permanent or temporary.
Attend the public hearing on the proposed rule changes on October 28, 2019 from 12-4p.m.
Laramie County Library
2200 Pioneer Avenue
Individuals interested in making a comment at the public hearing – whether in person, over the phone, or online – must register online at https://forms.gle/npJoU1EAf5Rn1AFa9 no later than October 24.
Details for joining the public hearing over the phone or online will be sent following registration. All comments will be recorded verbatim and filed with the Secretary of State’s Office.
For more information about the public hearing, proposed rule changes, the agency’s Statement of Reasons, go to https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/immunization/.
For help with questions about the rules or the hearing, please contact the WDH Immunization Unit by calling (307) 777-7952 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions you may contact the National Vaccine Information Center’s (NVICs) Wyoming State Directors Susan Pearce and Jacque Jones at: WYdirector@nvicadvocay.org.
TALKING POINTS for emails and letters:
- There is no public health crisis in Wyoming that warrants mandating meningococcal vaccines for school children. According to the National Meningitis Association, only 600-1,000 people contract meningococcal disease in the U.S. each year, out of a population of over 327 million. http://www.nmaus.org/disease-prevention-information/statistics-and-disease-facts/
- The CDC’s website warns of the risk of severe allergic reactions, severe injury, and death from meningococcal vaccines. The government should not mandate that people be injected with something that could seriously harm or even kill them. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/mening-serogroup.html
- Parents should have the right to refuse a medical procedure for their children that is known to result in injuries, including Guillain-Barré Syndrome, SIRVA, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, Bell’s Palsy, brachial neuritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and even death.
- Meningococcal vaccines have been fast tracked, without thorough testing and analysis. Mandating use of these vaccines is irresponsible.
- Meningococcal vaccine is expensive. In fact, it is one of the most expensive vaccines on the U.S. market, costing an average of $320 per student.
- Adding the word genuine to the religious belief exemption is offensive and inconsistent with religious freedom. No parent should be forced to prove that his or her religious beliefs or particular religion is “genuine.”
- The US Supreme Court recognizes vaccines to be “unavoidably unsafe” and to cause injury and death in some recipients. Since 1989, over $4 billion has been paid out in vaccine injury compensation.
- Vaccine makers and the healthcare providers who administer them bear zero liability for vaccine injuries and deaths. The vaccine manufactures reap all the profits from vaccine mandates, without having to pay for any of the injuries or harm.
Current rules are available here: https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/immunization/statutes_rules/
Proposed changes are available here: https://rules.wyo.gov/Search.aspx?mode=2, click on proposed rules, health department and Wyoming Immunization Program.