[Suggested action item: Call New Jersey Assemblywoman Charlotte Vandervalk and thank her for standing up for informed consent and freedom of choice on vaccination: (201) 666-0881. Even if you don't live there, what happens in other states affects us all. Then call your local state representative and urge him or her to protect freedom of choice on vaccination in your state.]
From The Record:
Protesters rally at State House over state-mandated vaccines
Friday, October 17, 2008
BY ELISE YOUNG
About 500 activists rallied outside the State House on Thursday, many with children who they said developed autism and other disorders after state-mandated immunizations.
"The shots just have to stop," said Lisa Driscoll of Maplewood, who brought her 4-year-old son Matt. "He's allergic to everything in the shots."
For years, activists across the country have protested compulsory vaccines for such diseases as chicken pox, flu, rubella and polio.
Some suspect that mercury-derived preservatives in some formulas trigger autism and other neurological ailments. Others say they're not opposed to vaccines in general, but they want to choose when and if their children will receive them.
But public-health officials say that children who have no immunity to common diseases are a risk to themselves and others.
The officials say that vaccination programs' achievements, such as the global eradication of deadly smallpox, far outweigh rare side effects. They say the federal government has identified no scientific link between the preservatives and autism.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a program called Healthy People 2010, is aiming to immunize 95 percent of the country's kindergartners and first-graders against seven diseases.
In New Jersey — home to the country's highest rate of autism, with one in 94 children affected — the issue erupted late last year, when the state adopted a Public Health Council recommendation for additional vaccines. Starting last month, all infants and toddlers in public schools and day cares were required to get annual flu shots, and sixth-graders had to receive a meningitis vaccination and a booster for diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus, or DPT.
At the rally, Assemblywoman Charlotte Vandervalk, R-Westwood, told the crowd that forced immunizations violate the Nuremberg Code, the set of ethical standards created in the wake of Nazi experiments on humans.
"We have a right to informed consent," Vandervalk said. "This once was a closet fear that now has become a public outcry."
Vandervalk is the sponsor of a bill to allow parents a conscientious exemption from vaccinating their children. Parents would claim a "sincerely held or moral objection" on paperwork to be filed with local health departments.
An identical bill in the Senate is sponsored by Sen. Gerald Cardinale, R-Cresskill, with a half-dozen more North Jersey lawmakers as co-sponsors.
Nineteen states have such a provision, according to the New Jersey Coalition for Vaccination Choice. Right now, the only way New Jersey parents can avoid vaccinations — and stay within the law — is to claim a medical or religious waiver. Roughly 2,200 children have such exemptions.
At the rally, Christine Levin said she drove for two hours from Sparta with her six children, ages 12 years to 5 months. None of them is vaccinated, she said.
"With my first child, I took classes in natural childbirth and learned that at birth, children are given eye drops, a Vitamin K shot and a shot for hepatitis B," Levin said.
"Hepatitis B, for a newborn? That's something that drug addicts and prostitutes get, and the vaccine is only good for 10 years. So we're protecting 10-year-old prostitutes and drug users. I said no way. We'd rather take our chances getting an illness."
Many protesters said their main fear was that a vaccine, once injected, can't be removed.
"I want to have a choice," said Melanie Miller of Bernardsville, Somerset County, mother of 3-year-old Frances Miller. "I'm not going to put a vaccine in her body every year."
It's interesting that the article says the federal government has not found a link "between the (vaccine) preservatives and autism." We keep hearing that, but I have to wonder how much top officials know and are simply covering up. In June 2005 there was a meeting of government officials, scientists and doctors that Rolling Stone magazine reported on in the article Deadly Immunity. I blogged about this back in May, when I first heard of it. Everyone should read the article - and if we find it hard to believe, I think we need to ask ourselves if Rolling Stone would completely fabricate this story, or if it is true. And since many citizens (including myself) have managed to get their hands on the actual transcripts from the meeting, it's hard to pretend it didn't happen. Yet that's kind of what the federal government is doing, because they have no answers they want to share with the public.
My second bone to pick is this: the federal vaccine court DID concede back in March that 9-year-old Hannah Poling's autism was caused by her vaccines "in the presence of her mitochondrial disorder." Then when parents started asking if the feds would start screening for mito disorders before vaccination, the CDC said that would be too "risky" and "raised ethical questions." ... Good grief, I'll raise an ethical question. How can they say this child actually developed autism from her vaccines because of a biological condition she had, then continue to tell Americans that vaccines are safe for everyone? Isn't every parent out there wondering, "What if MY child has a mitochondrial disorder?" If the government says there is a link, but doesn't think screening for the disorder is a priority, then how can I trust that my child's safety is my government's top priority? Well, I can't. And I can't trust that they are doing everything in their power to protect kids from vaccine injury either. This is where it all breaks down. The trust is gone, and I am now an independent researcher, severed from the faith I used to have in public health authority to tell me what's best for my kids.
With the economy trembling, a lot of Americans have been reminded that human corruption runs deep in the people governing our country and our financial institutions. The phrase "follow the money" just keeps coming to mind. Should it be any surprise that human corruption also exists in the public health field? In the pharmaceutical companies? Does it alarm you that pharmaceutical reps spend more time talking to your legislators on Capitol Hill than you do? Covering up mistakes, lying and greed are human problems, not sector problems. Public health authorities are certainly not immune to these sins.
(thanks, Jeff, for the article)