Vaccine Politics

 

Wow!  What a year it has been for news about vaccines.  Just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier, it has!  The biggest, best, most informative conference ever!  A governor elected on a vaccine-choice platform!  And pediatricians petitioning against vaccine choice in Jewish schools!

 The Fourth International Public Conference on Vaccination: We Came Together, We Made History!  A huge congratulations to Barbara Loe Fisher and her husband, Paul Arthur for a most remarkable conference at the beginning of October. What a success!  Over 700 attendees from 44 states and 11 nations were riveted by over 40 speakers from dawn to late evening for four consecutive days. Their subjects included vaccine risks, global vaccination issues such as contamination, injury and safety, pregnancy, swine flu, Gardasil vaccines, and military families. We heard from investigative reporters, scientists, physicians, nurses, parents, homeopaths and others.  Sometimes speakers had to agree to disagree. 

I was honored to assist with book sales, registration and general organization. What a pleasure to work with such dedicated people with amazing energy and passion. I have worked closely with Barbara and her co-founder, Kathi Williams for many years, and attended the three previous conferences.  This one was THE BEST! 

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC)  raised over $100,000 in 24 hours to fund a study of the health of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children. Go to  to view Barbara’s five-minute YouTube video describing it.  Watch the NVIC website to order CDs of the talks and downloads of the Powerpoint presentations. 

Governor Christie Elected in New JerseyCongratulations to Louise Habakus, Founder of Life Health Choices, in leading vaccine choice advocates who showed up in record numbers in to cast their votes and elect Chris Christie as New Jersey’s next governor. Christie made an official campaign promise to citizens of New Jersey in support of vaccination choice. He further cemented his position by becoming the first gubernatorial candidate to utter the words vaccines, autism and parental choice in the same sentence on Don Imus’ live radio show.  Habakus is now asking NJ residents to thank Christie for his promise.  Hopefully he will act in accordance with it!

Policy Recommendations to Pittsburgh Jewish School Administrators!  A group of 28 pediatricians in the Pittsburgh area, a majority of whom are Jewish, distributed a paper with the above title stating the following:

“We, the pediatric healthcare providers for the majority of the Pittsburgh Jewish community, ask the day schools, preschools and religious schools in the community to unite in stating the following policies regarding immunizations:

1.  All students will be required to provide proof of current, age-appropriate immunizations according to current Allegheny County immunization requirements, prior to the beginning of each school year.

2.  Any student not meeting these requirements must provide written, signed documentation, with state medical license number, from his or her licensed PRIMARY healthcare provider explaining the MEDICAL rationale for not immunizing the child in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

3.  While Pennsylvania law and Allegheny County code recognizes the right to “religious or philosophical objection to immunization,” our school does NOT accept such exemptions!  We consider vaccination to be a part of a person’s Jewish obligation to protect their own life and health and that of others; just as we expect that students and families choosing our school will accept that we provide explicit instruction in a variety of religious beliefs and practices, and expect our students to conform to school policies on dress, food, prayer, and ethical behavior, we consider this issue to be of equal, if not greater importance, and therefore expect the same level of respect and adherence. 

4.  Students not meeting the requirements outlined above will be excluded from school until they can comply with the requirements.

Exception:  We recognize that a student who is delayed in receiving immunizations often cannot receive them all at once.  Therefore, once a student can provide proof of having received the first doses in a “catch-up” schedule, along with a dated schedule from the physician indicating when the next doses are due, that student can be allowed to return to school.  The school reserves the right to exclude the student at a later date if the family does not follow through with completing the “catch-up” schedule in a reasonable time frame.  It is reasonable to expect that nearly all new students with immunization delay should be able to complete any standard “catch-up” schedule by the conclusion of their first academic year in the school.”

 Attached to this white paper are three pages of “Medical Evidence Supporting Immunization Requirements.”   No studies, no research. Just unsupported opinions on why “vaccination against infectious diseases is one of the most successful innovations of modern medicine ” Another statement:  ” Vaccination is perhaps the most rigorously tested, safest interventions practiced by modern medicine!”  WHERE ARE THE STUDIES?

A reporter for the Jewish Chronicle, a Pittsburgh Jewish weekly picked up this story.  The comments from Peter H. Meyers, Professor of Clinical Law at the George Washington University Law School and Barbara Loe Fisher of NVIC are worth reading.   Meyers, who is Jewish, directs the vaccine injury clinic at GWU Law School, and teaches courses on vaccination law.

To me this looks like an ACLU case waiting to happen!   I heard that one of the Yeshiva Schools had already sought legal counsel.  I just cannot believe that these doctors think they are above the law!  How can they dismiss the law of the state and people’s individual rights? 

Vaccinations and politics will no doubt continue to butt heads in 2010 for sure.  Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy New Year free of vaccines and politics!

 

 

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