As new vaccine bills are proposed, our state legislators, few who are doctors, are often put in a unique position of making decisions that could affect whether or not our kids are at risk to get a vaccine preventable disease.
Yes at risk, since outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases could certainly increase as some of these vaccine bills actually weaken existing vaccine laws.
A Guide to Evaluating Vaccine Information for Legislators
It is easy to see why some Legislators are looking to strengthen their state’s vaccine laws, as they had likely been seeing a rise in vaccine hesitancy, with a corresponding rise in outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases.
But why would a Legislator want to make it easier for unvaccinated kids to go to school?
“I’m not opposed to vaccines, but I believe it should be up to the parents.”South Dakota House Majority Leader Lee Qualm
When you hear them talk, it is easy to see that they have often been misled by the same misinformation and propaganda about vaccines that leads some vaccine hesitant parents to skip or delay their child’s vaccines.
This includes the ideas that:
vaccine mandates take away a parent’s choice– mandates do not force kids to get vaccinated. vaccine preventable diseases aren’t that serious– many are life-threatening and a few cause cancer! natural immunity is better for you than getting a vaccine– but only if you survive the disease without any complications. vaccines are dangerous– vaccines are safe, with few risks, and rarely cause serious reactions. vaccines don’t work– they aren’t perfect, but most vaccines work very well. kids get too many vaccines– of course, without these vaccines, the alternative is that more kids die from more diseases that are now vaccine preventable. vaccines are against many religions– really, which ones? no one is at risk if a child is unvaccinated– no one except those too young to be vaccinated, too young to be fully vaccinated, those with medical conditions and immune system problems who can’t be vaccinated, and anyone who’s vaccine didn’t work.
Of course, none of these things we crossed out are true, but they are all ideas pushed by folks who lobby these politicians. These folks also push misinformation about mutant measles, herd immunity, untested vaccines, unavoidably unsafe vaccines, and that vaccines have never been tested for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential.
Unfortunately, a very vocal minority of parents who want to send their intentionally unvaccinated kids to school are getting extra attention in state houses because the great majority of parents who do vaccinate their kids don’t show up to advocate for vaccines.
For many, it’s simply hard to believe that there are actually people out there fighting against vaccines!
As difficult as it might be, our Legislators need to be prepared when these folks come with their talking points against vaccines.
Otherwise we will end up with more bad vaccine bills that will put our kids at risk.
What’s wrong with these types of vaccine bills?
For one thing, they do nothing to make kids safer and they simply put extra steps in the way of getting kid vaccinated and protected.
Arizona state Sen. Paul Boyer told CNN he co-sponsored three of the bills after hearing from parents who said their children were hurt by vaccines. He felt the state was “not engaging in fully informed consent.”Even with measles outbreaks across the US, at least 20 states have proposed anti-vaccination bills
Again, many simply echo talking points against vaccines about vaccine inserts (no one is hiding them…), liability, VAERS (information on reporting vaccine reactions is on every vaccine information sheet parents get), informed consent, and vaccine injury stories.
And that’s not surprising, considering who gives these Legislators (mis)information about vaccines. Folks like Bobby Kennedy, Larry Palevsky, Ginger Taylor, Rita Palma, and the NVIC, etc., who also help to derail good vaccine bills.
“You don’t have to be a scientist or part of an organization to spread the word about the importance of immunizations. You can make an impact on vaccine-preventable diseases in your own community.”Vaccinate Your Family – Make a Local Impact
We don’t have to let these folks them shape vaccine bills and policy though.
“A decision not to vaccinate is not just an individual decision. Because these diseases are spread from person to person, the decision to leave a child unvaccinated not only leaves that child susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases, but permits the spread of those diseases to the surrounding community, including infants too young to be immunized and those suffering from immunodeficiency conditions.”An Open Letter to Congress On Immunization Policy
Let your legislators know that you want strong vaccine laws that keep all of us protected from vaccine preventable diseases.
More on Vaccine Information for Legislators
- A Legislative Guide to Advocating for Stronger Vaccine Laws
- Who to Trust About Vaccines
- Fact Checking Brian Hooker’s Statement to WA Legislators
- How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Hurts Autistic Families
- America’s New Normal: Propaganda About the Unhealthiest Generation
- The History of Vaccine Exemptions
- Why Are States Eliminating Religious Exemptions for Immunizations?
- Abuse of Vaccine Exemptions
- Responses to New Vaccine Laws
- 8 Myths About Pediatricians Who Fire Families Who Don’t Vaccinate Their Kids
- More Questions to Help You Become a Vaccine Skeptic
- Ask 8 Questions Before You Skip a Vaccine
- Anti-Vaccine Legislation Primer
- Immunizations Policy Issues Overview
- The Vaccination-Exemption Challenge
- Vaccine Advocacy Legislator Toolkit
- California’s New Vaccine Laws Should Be a Model for All States
- Vaccinate Your Family – Make a Local Impact
- An Open Letter to Congress On Immunization Policy
- Increasing Vaccination: Putting Psychological Science Into Action
- Lawmaker wants to prohibit student vaccination requirements
- What do we do about politicians and physicians who promote antivaccine misinformation?
- The GOP has become the party of antivaxers, 2019 edition
- GOP lawmakers should think twice before support anti-vaccine bills
- While Madagascar Records a Historic Measles Epidemic, Anti-Vaccine Bills Are Introduced in the United States
- ‘Something is in those vaccines’: Lawmaker says mandatory measles shots are ‘Communist’
- Even with measles outbreaks across the US, at least 20 states have proposed anti-vaccination bills
- Anti-vaxxers Flexing Political, Public Relations Muscle
- Lawmakers should heed science, not anti-vaccine activists
- In Texas, Three More Measles Cases and Four New Anti-Vaccine Bills
- First pediatrician in Congress leads AAP-championed bill to increase vaccinations