Tag: mandatory vaccinations

Can You Go to Jail for Not Vaccinating Your Kids?

Believe it or not, parents have been jailed for not vaccinating their kids.

In a recent Michigan case, a mother was jailed for refusing a court order to vaccinate her son. The court had agreed with the boy’s father that the child should be vaccinated and protected.

So this case was not just about vaccines, but about divorced parents who disagreed about how to care for their child…

Can You Go to Jail for Not Vaccinating Your Kids?

Although it isn’t common, historically, there have been other stories of parents going to jail for not vaccinating their kids.

Parents in Maryland were surprised that they might face jail time for not vaccinating their kids.
Parents in Maryland were surprised that they might face jail time for not vaccinating their kids.

Recently, in 2007, parents were warned that they might be sent to jail for not vaccinating their kids. The problem wasn’t just vaccines though, as these parents could have gotten exemptions. And they had several months to do so before the Judge gave his warning…

No one went to jail in Maryland in 2007.

Have you ever heard of John (Jack) Marsh?

Going to jail for not vaccinating his kids became routine for John Marsh.

In 1946, he was put in jail and his daughter, Betty Jane, was taken by child welfare services so that she could get a smallpox vaccine. His son Marlin was also to be taken, but couldn’t be found.

What happened next? We don’t know. That was the last report about John Marsh and his family.

We do know a lot about what happened before this though…

John Marsh was first jailed in 1937 for not vaccinating his kids.

John Marsh’s story started nearly 12 years earlier!

In 1934, he spent 7 months in jail because he wouldn’t vaccinate his children Daniel and Lorna. As in 1946, those children were taken and vaccinated and Marsh was released.

John Marsh was again jailed in 1937 for not vaccinating his kids.

He was also put in prison in 1937 over getting his son Eugene vaccinated.

John Marsh was jailed over and over from 1937 to 1940 because he wouldn't vaccinate his kids.

Why was he against vaccinating his kids?

John Marsh believed that his nieces were vaccine injured.
John Marsh believed that his nieces were vaccine injured.

He believes that a smallpox vaccine caused two of his nieces to go blind. One of them became blind about two weeks after getting her smallpox vaccine. Two weeks later, her sister also became blind. And then another.

What could have affected these girls in 1925 besides Mildred’s smallpox vaccine? Trachoma was once a common cause of blindness in the United States and it was quite contagious.

Even though two weren’t even vaccinated, the family still thinks that they all suffered from some kind of vaccine injury.

“The infrequency of eye involvement following vaccination is very striking when we consider the number of vac­cinations, the doubtful handling that many receive, and the ease with which infection may be transferred.”

Arthur J. Bedell, M.D., F.A.C.S. on Multiple Vaccination of the Eyelids

Interestingly, ocular vaccinia is a known, rare complication of getting a smallpox vaccine. It could occur if you touched the site of vaccination and then touched your eye, and so could also occur if you were in close contact with someone who was recently vaccinated, as the Marsh sisters.

Unlike these girls though, the infection typically only involves one eye, would cause lesions suspicious for vaccinia in or near the eye, which were never mentioned, and often leaves obvious lid deformities.

And doctors did not believe that those girls had a reaction to the vaccine.

John Marsh never won any of his cases and his kids always ended up getting vaccinated...
John Marsh never won any of his cases and his kids always ended up getting vaccinated…

Are there any other cases of parents going to jail instead of vaccinating their kids?

In 1899, apparently there wasn't a religious exemption to getting vaccinated.
In 1899, apparently there wasn’t a religious exemption to getting vaccinated.
Yes, we had anti-vax chiropractors way back in 1926.
Yes, we had anti-vax chiropractors way back in 1926.
In 1942, Bowser's two children were admitted to a county Children's home and vaccinated, as they had never been to school.
In 1942, Bowser’s two children were admitted to a county Children’s home and vaccinated, as they had never been to school.
This was in 1924, but just like today, these parents didn't win their court case.
This was in 1924, but just like today, these parents didn’t win their court case.

Could any of this happen now?

We still have truancy laws and laws about kids getting vaccinated…

Jack Marsh had an alternative to going to jail over not vaccinating his kids...
Jack Marsh had an alternative to going to jail over not vaccinating his kids…

But no one wants parents to go to jail over vaccination decisions.

And no one wants kids to be forced to get vaccines.

Vaccination laws were being strictly enforced to try and control outbreaks and epidemics of smallpox, which still occurred in the 1920s and 30s.
Vaccination laws were being strictly enforced to try and control outbreaks and epidemics of smallpox, which still occurred in the 1920s and 30s.

We also don’t want kids to get sick and disease to spread because of ignorance and unnecessary fear of vaccines.

Who is scaring these parents in the first place?
What is scaring these parents in the first place?

Unfortunately, anti-vax folks create a viscous cycle.

As they scare more and more parents, they create pockets of susceptible children, and larger and larger outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, which eventually require stricter vaccine requirements and mandates to control.

More on Jail and Vaccines

Responses to New Vaccine Laws

As anti-vax folks haven’t been very successful in stopping states from passing necessary new vaccine laws, what are they doing now?

“In the Plainview-Old Bethpage School District, Superintendent Dr. Lorna Lewis says they had about 65 students affected by the change in religious exemptions. That number is now down to about 20.”

Deadline for unvaccinated students arrives in New York schools

Fortunately, many are vaccinating and protecting their kids!

Anti-Vax Responses to New Vaccine Laws

Not all of them though…

Some of the more outrageous responses to new vaccine laws have included looking to get fake immunization records and sending 'fake' kids to get tested for immunity.
Some of the more outrageous responses to new vaccine laws have included looking to get fake immunization records and sending ‘fake’ kids to get tested for immunity.

Some are fighting the laws.

In Maine, it appears that one group submitted more than enough signatures to get on a ballot that could overturn their new vaccine law that eliminated non-medical exemptions.

A bold response to a new vaccine law - trying to get it overturned.
Will voters in Maine overturn a new vaccine law?

How did they do it?

People said they were misled into signing a petition to overturn a new vaccine law in Maine.
People said they were misled into signing a petition to overturn a new vaccine law in Maine.

There are many reports that the folks gathering signatures in Maine misled people into signing.

Did signature collectors in Maine lie to get enough support for their anti-vax petition?
Did signature collectors in Maine lie to get enough support for their anti-vax petition?

When you actually look at the petition that the vaccine choice in Maine used, it is easy to see that it is basically a list of anti-vaccine talking points that often scare and mislead parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids, including that Maine’s new vaccine law:

Kinder MEs are high in most of Maine.
Kinder MEs are high in most of Maine.
  • Eliminates parents’ ability to decide what’s best for their children. – Vaccine mandates don’t force parents to vaccinate their kids. They still have a choice, even if they don’t like what their choices which no longer include sending their intentionally unvaccinated kids to school.
  • Will harm, not help, public health. – Getting more kids vaccinated and protected does not harm public health!
  • Strips parents of their right to religious freedom. – Which religions are against getting kids vaccinated and protected?
  • Prevents a minority group from receiving an education. – Since parents have a choice on whether or not to vaccinate their kids, it is not the schools or the state that is preventing intentionally unvaccinated kids from receiving an education.
  • Those who need medical exemptions cannot get them. – Every state allows medical exemptions. Under some new vaccine laws, unscrupulous health care providers can no longer make up their own rules for what counts as a medical exemption though.
  • Our childhood vaccination rates are high. – Fortunately, vaccination rates are generally high in most of the country, but that’s not the issue. It is the clusters of unvaccinated kids that are typically the problem. At the Maine Coast Waldorf School, for example, only 38% of kids had the recommended two doses of MMR!
  • Unvaccinated children are not a risk to the immunocompromised. – This is simply not true.
  • Vaccines DO cause injury. – Yes, but the risks from vaccines are small, unlike vaccine-preventable diseases, they very rarely cause severe injuries.

What are they doing in other states?

In New York, they have tried to equate their choice to not vaccinate their kids, which is what’s actually keeping those kids from going to school, with efforts to desegregate schools in the 1960s.

It's sad that these parents think that wanting to send their intentionally unvaccinated kids to school compares to the efforts to get Ruby Bridges into school and other civil rights issues.
It’s sad that these parents think that wanting to send their intentionally unvaccinated kids to school compares to the efforts to get Ruby Bridges into school and other civil rights issues.

And while some kids are now being homeschooled, some parents continued to send their intentionally unvaccinated kids to school, right up until the deadline to get vaccinated and protected, hoping their lawsuits would succeed and keep their kids in school.

They haven’t so far.

And they likely won’t in the future.

Other parents, when they lose one exemption, simply try to substitute it with another.

Are kids with true medical exemptions getting denied as schools see a lot of inappropriate exemptions for things like MTHFR?
Are kids with true medical exemptions getting denied as schools see a lot of inappropriate exemptions for things like MTHFR?

Can’t get a personal belief exemption anymore? Try a religious exemption. And when they take that away, go with a medical exemption.

Of course, that doesn’t work once schools no longer accept inappropriate medical exemptions.

What will work?

Getting their kids vaccinated and protected.

Vaccines are safe, with few risks, and are obviously necessary.

More on Responses to New Vaccine Laws

Has Bobby Kennedy Taken Over the Anti-Vaccine Movement?

What happened after SB276, the new vaccine law, was signed in California?

Did Bobby Kennedy's "mic dropping speech" mark the birth of a new civil rights movement for the health freedom or anti-vaccine movement?
Did RFK Jr’s “Mic Dropping Speech” Mark the Birth of a New Civil Rights Movement for the Health Freedom or Anti-Vaccine Movement?

They flew Bobby Kennedy back to Sacramento for a rally.

Has Bobby Kennedy Taken Over the Anti-Vaccine Movement?

What did he have to say?

“It’s a sad day for California. And it’s a sad day for our country. And I have asked a question and I would like to ask this legislature who voted for this God awful bill. If we can give government and big industries the right to inject untested medical products that are zero liability into our children coercively, where does the power of government end? What else can they order us to do? Can they do the same thing that they do in China? Which is to tell people that they have to abort their babies for “the good of society?” Can they euthanize people for “the good of society?” Where is the legal boundary?

Bobby Kennedy

It is a sad day when a Kennedy is spouting this kind of stuff…

Vaccines are well tested and everyone has a choice on whether or not to get vaccinated. Mandates to attend school do not force parents to vaccinate their kid.

Comparing these mandates that protect those who can’t be vaccinated to forced abortion and euthanasia is unconscionable.

“We have signed treaty after treaty after treaty saying you can not force an American citizen or any citizen of the civilized world to take a medication or to submit themselves to a medical procedure without informed consent. What has happened to the Democratic party? What has happened to the party that used to stand for listening to women? Why are they listening to pharmaceutical companies and not to the women?

Bobby Kennedy

What has happened to the Kennedys?

Again, vaccine mandates do not force anyone to get vaccinated and protected.

And pushing anti-vaccine talking points on folks is not giving them informed consent. This type of misinformation simply scares them away from vaccinating their kids. It is misinformed consent!

“And yet, you have all of the members who voted for this and none of them can answer the question – where is all of the autoimmune diseases coming from? If it’s not the vaccines, then where is it coming from? We have, from my generation, according to HHS, 12% of the people in my generation, prior to 1986, had chronic diseases. Today, 54% did. Let’s pretend all of those hundreds and hundreds of studies aren’t there that say it’s the vaccines.”

Bobby Kennedy

Let’s pretend that his statistic that 54% of American children have a chronic illness

Actually, let’s not, because it isn’t true. Although often cited by anti-vaccine folks, the number comes from a 2011 report, A national and state profile of leading health problems and health care quality for US children: key insurance disparities and across-state variations, but doesn’t mean what most people think it means.

“An estimated 43% of US children (32 million) currently have at least 1 of 20 chronic health conditions assessed, increasing to 54.1% when overweight, obesity, or being at risk for developmental delays are included; 19.2% (14.2 million) have conditions resulting in a special health care need, a 1.6 point increase since 2003.”

Bethell et al on A national and state profile of leading health problems and health care quality for US children: key insurance disparities and across-state variations.

Is obesity a vaccine injury?

Where are the “hundreds and hundreds of studies… that say it’s the vaccines?”

“Let’s pretend that all the vaccines, everyone of those diseases, the autoimmune diseases – Guillain-Barré syndrome , cerebral palsy, diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis. The neurodevelopmental diseases, ADD, ADHD, speech delay, language delay, tics, Tourette syndrome, ASD, autism. The allergic diseases – allergies, food allergies, eczema, asthma, anaphylaxis. Where can we find those listed? In two places. One in the list of chronic diseases that are now epidemic among American children and on the vaccine inserts. And why would the company put them on the vaccine insert? They put them there because the only way you can sue them under NCVIA is if they know or suspect of an injury being caused by a product and they failed to put it on the insert. So it’s the one place where their honest. For many years they told us, well, just because we put it on the insert, it doesn’t mean that it is actually a vaccine adverse event or caused by the vaccine. But the code of Federal regulations says you can not put it on an insert unless you believe that it’s caused by the vaccine. So they are lying.”

Bobby Kennedy

Well, someone is lying…

Although listed in the vaccine insert, if they are in the Adverse Reactions section, they may not actually be caused by the vaccine.
Although listed in the vaccine insert, if they are in the Adverse Reactions section, they may not actually be caused by the vaccine.

What goes into a vaccine insert is dictated by the FDA, specifically the Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, and Section 314 of the NCVIA, after consultation with the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, including:

  • Contraindications – all situations when the vaccine should not be given
  • Warning and Precautions – all adverse reactions and safety hazards that may occur after getting the vaccine and what you should do if they occur
  • Adverse Reactions – this section includes clinical trials experience, post-marketing experience, and voluntary reports, and it is very important to understand that it is not always possible to establish a causal relationship to vaccination for these adverse effects. So just because something is listed here, whether it is SIDS, autism, drowning, or a car accident, doesn’t mean that it was actually caused by the vaccine. Updated in 2006 to require that only adverse events “for which there is some basis to believe there is a causal relationship between the drug and the occurrence of the adverse event,” it still doesn’t mean the adverse event was definitely caused by the vaccine.

As a lawyer, you would expect, or at least hope, that Bobby Kennedy understands how vaccine inserts really work…

“This state is doing something horrendous. It is stepping between a doctor and the 4000 children in this state whose doctors have told them you can not afford to get a vaccine because it could kill you or it could cripple you. Their doctor, who has known that child often-times since birth, who has reviewed the medical records, who has done all of the tests on that baby, who knows the family, has said it is dangerous to receive this product. Don’t ever do it. And yet, the State of California, is going to come in, a bureaucrat, between that doctor and that child, and say that we are going to give it to him anyway. This is criminal.”

Bobby Kennedy

This is probably one of the biggest myths about California’s new vaccine law.

For one thing, SB276 doesn’t revoke legitimate medical exemptions.

Did Ron Kennedy know these kids since birth and think that vaccines would kill or cripple them because they had a learning disability or food allergies?
Did Ron Kennedy know these kids since birth and think that vaccines would kill or cripple them because they had a learning disability or food allergies?

And the problem hasn’t typically been the legitimate medical exemptions from doctors who have known kids since birth, but rather inappropriate exemptions from doctors who advertised medical exemption consultations and appointments for new patients.

“Big pharmaceutical companies are the most evil companies on earth. Who are commoditizing our children. Who are giving our children this tsunami of chronic disease and then making the money to try and tell us that we are going to get rid of infectious disease, like chickenpox and measles, but we are going to trade that for rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes and autism and ADD and ADHD. And all of those infectious diseases are treatable and curable, usually within a week, and none of the chronic diseases that they are causing are treatable or curable. And they are making $50 billion dollars selling our kids these mandated vaccines that are untested and liability free, but they are making $500 billion a year selling them the epi-pens, the seizure medications, the Prozac, the albuterol inhalers, the rhumatoid arthritis medication, the diabetes medications that our children are now addicted to for life because of these vaccines. ”

Bobby Kennedy

As usual, it all comes back to Big Pharma conspiracy theories and the idea that everything is a vaccine injury.

Bobby Kennedy thinks the pharmaceutical industry is in "a war against our children."
Bobby Kennedy thinks the pharmaceutical industry is in “a war against our children.” Do you?

So what’s their next plan?

Lawsuits.

Lawsuits so that they can help keep kids unvaccinated and unprotected.

“We are an insurgency. They can not stop us now. We are not going to go away.”

Bobby Kennedy

Of course the anti-vaccine movement is not going away. It has been around since before we had the first real vaccine, when folks were getting variolated to protect them against smallpox.

“You know this is the most important battle, probably in human history.”

Bobby Kennedy

Fighting to keep your intentionally unvaccinated kids in school, where they could put others at risk to get sick, including kids with immune system problems or those being treated for cancer, is the most important battle in human history?

He wasn’t done yet though…

“What we have to understand is that the domination of business by government is called communism. The domination of government by business is called facism. And what we’re fighting for is the essential tenets of American democracy, which is free market capitalism, which we don’t have. They destroyed the markets didn’t they. There’s no market for vaccines because they couldn’t sell them, so they had to disable the markets and force us to take them against our will. And for democracy and they’ve taken democracy from us. And they’ve taken the institution of Justice directly. They have gotten rid of the 6th and 7th amendment guarantees. The Federal Constitution guarantees of a jury trials. We are the only people in our country who you can injure – a private corporation can injure and disable and you can’t get a jury trial.”

Bobby Kennedy

Except that you can’t usually get a jury trial if you think you have a vaccine injury. The only thing is that you have to go through the Vaccine Court first.

Be skeptical if you truly want to learn to protect your kids. Although speeches from folks like Bobby Kennedy might make you feel better about your decision to skip or delay your child’s vaccines, understand that it is not really an informed decision.

More on Bobby Kennedy

Will SB276 Revoke Legitimate Medical Exemptions?

Bob Sears has already said that SB276 will eliminate medical exemptions and stop doctors from writing medical exemptions.

ITP after MMR is not a reason to get a medical exemption for all vaccines…

What is he saying now?

Will SB276 Revoke Legitimate Medical Exemptions?

Bob Sears is saying that SB276 will revoke legitimate medical exemptions from children who have had “seizures, nerve injuries, and severe allergic reactions after vaccines.”

He also says that they “will be forced to continue just to stay in school.”

To be clear, neither SB276 nor any other vaccine law in the United States forces anyone to get vaccinated.

Yes Bob Sears, what do you mean forced to stay in school?
Yes Bob Sears, what do you mean forced to stay in school?

Although implying forced vaccination is a common anti-vaccine tactic, even his own followers called him out on it…

What else can you see from reading the comments to Bob’s post?

Some medical exemptions might be revoked under SB276, but it isn’t because they are legitimate.

ITP would not be a reason to get a medical exemption to all vaccines.
ITP would not be a reason to get a medical exemption to ALL VACCINES.

A rash that turned in ‘purple blobs’ after the MMR vaccine sounds like it could be ITP, which is actually a table injury.

Since the ACIP lists that as a precaution to getting another dose of MMR, you would almost certainly get a medical exemption, but not to all vaccines!

While scary for parents, ITP typically goes away on its own without treatment in about two weeks to six months.

Anyway, SB276 doesn’t revoke legitimate medical exemptions.

If you actually read SB276, as amended, what it does do is trigger a review by medical professionals to “identify those medical exemption forms that do not meet applicable CDC, ACIP, or AAP criteria for appropriate medical exemptions” if:

  • a school’s immunization rate drops below 95%
  • a doctor writes five or more medical exemptions in a single year (although that doesn’t sound like a lot, keep in mind that true medical exemptions are not very common, so the average doctor who is only writing medical exemptions for their own patients likely won’t write that many each year)
  • a school doesn’t report it’s immunization rates

And once reviewed, inappropriate medical exemptions can be revoked, although that process can be appealed by a parent who thinks that their child does indeed have a legitimate medical exemption.

Keep in mind that just because a doctor writes more than 5 exemptions in a single year, that doesn’t mean that they will automatically be revoked. That simply triggers a review. Even if the doctor writes 10 or 20, if they are legitimate exemptions, then they will be allowed.

Again, SB276 doesn’t revoke legitimate medical exemptions.

Why does Bob Sears think that it does?

Maybe because many of things that Bob Sears considers to be legitimate medical exemptions actually aren’t, which is why he is already under investigation, even before SB276 is enacted…

More on Legitimate Medical Exemptions