Tag: politicians

A Guide to Evaluating Vaccine Information for Legislators

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.

Does House Majority Leader Lee Qualm have any idea why we ever started to have school vaccination requirements?
Does House Majority Leader Lee Qualm have any idea why we ever started to have school vaccination requirements?

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.

If we see a COVID-19 pandemic, most of us will welcome a new vaccine to protect our families.
If we see a COVID-19 pandemic, most of us will welcome a new vaccine to protect our families.

This includes the ideas that:

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.

Who is educating your state legislators about vaccines?
Who is educating your state legislators about vaccines?

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.

Why not?

For many, it’s simply hard to believe that there are actually people out there fighting against vaccines!

It is easy to see why some Legislators might be tricked by slick anti-vaccine talking points in these meetings.
It is easy to see why some Legislators might be tricked by slick anti-vaccine talking points in these meetings.

As difficult as it might be, our Legislators need to be prepared when these folks come with their talking points against vaccines.

What about the rights of children who can’t be vaccinated and have true medical exemptions?

Otherwise we will end up with more bad vaccine bills that will put our kids at risk.

Pennachio and Testa want to opt out of the federal Vaccine Count and NVICP and recreate it on the state level???
Pennachio and Testa want to opt out of the federal Vaccine Count and NVICP and recreate it on the state level???

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.

Lawrence Palevsky has been described as "an antivaccine pediatrician who’s an endless font of misinformation." Is this who your legislators are listening to?
Lawrence Palevsky has been described as “an antivaccine pediatrician who’s an endless font of misinformation.” Is this who your legislators are listening to?

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

The VACCINES Act

A lot of folks have been saying that new Federal vaccines laws were coming.

Instead, we have just been seeing more and more cases of measles.

The VACCINES Act

Well, we might finally be getting a new Federal vaccine law, but it isn’t the kind of law that will force people to get vaccinated that anti-vaccine folks have been warning us about.

Rep. Schrier with the AAP Executive Committee, who urge passage of the VACCINES Act and federal funding for vaccine hesitancy surveillance at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rep. Schrier with the AAP Executive Committee, who urge passage of the VACCINES Act and federal funding for vaccine hesitancy surveillance at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Instead, the Vaccine Awareness Campaign to Champion Immunization Nationally and Enhance Safety (VACCINES) Act, which was recently introduced by Representative Kim Schrier (D-Wash.) will simply help to increase public awareness of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

“Vaccines were one of the greatest medical accomplishments of the 20th century and have been proven safe and effective at preventing diseases that once killed or greatly harmed people around the world.

As a pediatrician, I understand that parents want to do what they think is best for their children and some do not vaccinate because of unfounded fears. We are now seeing outbreaks of diseases like measles, which was considered eliminated 19 years ago, in part because of an anti-vaccine campaigns around the country. This bill will make sure that parents have access to facts about vaccines, so they can make an informed decision.”

Rep. Kim Schrier

The VACCINES Act will:

While I’m pretty sure the CDC could already do all of these things already without a new law, hopefully it will provide the extra funding and resources to actually get it done.

Tell your U.S. representative to consider co-sponsoring the VACCINES Act and help get this bill passed.

More on the VACCINES Act