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Virginia, Your Vaccine Exemptions are Safe For Now

Word spread quickly in several of my online groups that Delegates in the Commonwealth of Virginia had introduced a vaccine bill. Like other vaccine bills that have popped up in other states, HB1342 was a bad bill.

As quickly as the bill was introduced, it was assigned to a Subcommittee and added to the next Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee’s agenda. It was imperative that those who opposed the bill act quickly. Virginians wasted no time. Representatives were contacted. Travel plans were made. Parents, providers and many, many others helped to spread the word. I was one of those parents.

Since I could get to the hearing where 3 minutes of public testimony was to be included, I drafted a short speech.

Delagate Filler-Corn, Dr. Stolle and other Members of the Committee,

“You know your child best.”

As the mom to five kids, I’ve heard that statement several times over the last few years. I hear that one and that I should always trust my mother’s instinct. I’ve made mistakes before when I didn’t listen to my instinct which is why I’m here today. My gut tells me that HB1342 is a bad bill. I’d like to tell you why.

This bill violates existing law that protects religious and parental rights. To take those rights away, something that so many in the Commonwealth have fought to secure, preserve and protect, is incomprehensible.

HB1342 not only violates religious rights and personal rights, it undermines our doctor and their ability to work with my children, including my son who was severely injured by vaccines. Finding the right doctor to attend to that injury took time. Our doctor understands my child’s healthcare needs well, not you, Dr. Stolle, nor any of the other members of this committee. This bill would prevent my son’s doctor from using professional judgement which would impede them from appropriately treating him. That, plus mandating vaccines while also restricting the existing medical exemption, which is what HB1342 would do, is unethical and would not serve any of my children well.

I could now cite a few statistics for the committee, like the fact that Virginia has a high vaccine rate despite already low exemptions rates, or I could remind you that those who manufacture vaccines have no liability for their product and that those who administer them can do so without being held accountable for any injury or death resulting, or I could point out that the CDC states that all vaccines come with risk, or I could make it clear to you that when there is a risk, there must always be a choice, but I’ll leave you with a final statement and a request instead.

HB1342 is an overreach of the government. I respectfully ask that you withdraw this draconian bill and refrain from introducing other bills like it.

I never had to make that speech. Thankfully, HB1342 was stricken from the docket soon after the Health, Welfare and Institution’s Committee meeting started. I was overjoyed.

Instead of returning home right away, a friend and I, as well as other parents who’d gathered in the General Assembly building, set out to talk to the Delegates about what happens next. Even with HB1342 off the docket, there’s no telling if another bill will make its way to the floor. Obviously, it wouldn’t return with the same wording, but I don’t doubt that another vaccine bill is in the works. That’s why it was important for those of us who opposed HB1342 to follow up with the Delegates and to learn how to stay abreast with legislation.

I learned that one of the quickest ways to check on a bill in Virginia is to us the Legislative Information System website. (Click on the Bills & Resolutions link). When I got back home I did that and could see the timeline of HB1342 to include that it was stricken from the docket with a voice vote. Something else that I did when I got back home was check in on the Facebook groups that had started to mobilize people. It was there that I was reminded of another way for people to keep track of vaccine legislation (and not just for Virginia but for all 50 states): sign up with the National Vaccine Information Center’s Advocacy portal.

The National Vaccine Information Center’s main website (www.nvic.org/about.aspx) has a great deal of valuable information. Founded in 1982, NVIC has been my go-to website for whenever I have a question about vaccines, vaccine safety, and vaccine law. I frequently share the link with moms-to-be and to those parents who are unaware that “school shots” are not necessarily required. When it comes to knowing current vaccine law and policy, though, and to how to know how to advocate for personal rights, the Advocacy portal is the site I share.

Not surprising, as with many other bills, when NVIC got word that HB1342 was introduced, they got to work and posted information for parents like me to read. They shared details of the bill and also posted an urgent action alert. No doubt that their swift response helped inform the public the steps to take so we could help kill the bill.

I got the chance to speak to Barbara Loe Fisher, the president of NVIC, the day after HB1342 was stricken from the docket. She’s delighted at how things worked out in Virginia. I let her know that I was, too. So many people came together very quickly to make phone calls, to send emails, and to get personally in touch with the Delegates. I believe that that grassroots effort made a big difference.

That effort is still needed elsewhere. Unfortunately, other states still have a fight ahead of them—WisconsinHawaii, and New York just to name a few. With as many states ready to attack and remove parental rights, when asked where she thought things are going with vaccine legislation, Barbara Loe Fisher said we’re looking at forced vaccination of all federally mandated vaccines with no exemptions with a 100% vaccine rate with no liability and no compensation (for injuries). For me, that’s a scary, scary thought! But with how California’s SB277 sailed through committee, after committee, after committee and passed into law, I would not be surprised that that’s coming.

Hopefully it won’t happen in Virginia this legislative season. Taking HB1342 off the docket was a victory, but we cannot let one minor victory sidetrack us. More parents need to become aware of what’s happening. Medical providers need to be better educated on vaccine safety. Representatives need to be educated as well. They will also still need to hear from us. That’s going to take a lot of work, but it’s possible for us citizens to band together to get that work done.

Note: This article was reprinted with the author’s permission. It was originally published by Age of Autism. Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.

9 Responses to Virginia, Your Vaccine Exemptions are Safe For Now

  1. Donna Marquart Reply

    February 2, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Thanks for the update. Last year at this time after writing Tammy Baldwin – State senator in Wash DC about vaccines in Wisconsin, esp because I was hearing about the media push for SB277, I was reassured that Wisconsin allowed for personal exemptions and not to worry. Looks like the “machine” is busy cranking out all kinds of disinformation with plenty of trolls and shills out there being very mean spirited. And this baloney about the Zika stuff Jon Rappaport has some interesting thoughts on how many ACTUAL cases of babies born with small brains in Brazil with ZIKA has been downgraded to a very few. (I bet until the powers that be get to the people in charge in Brazil – along with Monsanto and others with their toxic stuff) – oh and of course – the vaccines to help “prevent” catching it. esp. with the upcoming Olympic Games. What a sham.

    • Ihsan Reply

      February 13, 2016 at 7:12 pm

      My daughter’s leg was palrailty paralyzed due to vaccines. Child Protective Services questioned me as to why I refused to vaccinate my children, and I replied that I have a 1) Medical reason, 2) a religious objection, and 3) concerns about the vaccine’s side affects and the doctor’s lying about the vaccine not having thimerosal. I also explained that EVERYone in my family with the standard vaccines has ADHD and autism, so there may be an allergic reaction involving brain cells.I stood firm on my RIGHTS, and cited case law. They were required to back down. CPS and the courts shall draw NO quarter from me, as they actively work against individual rights.

  2. Susanne Claudia Reply

    February 2, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    When you google the Delegate from Fairfax, Eileen Fuller-Corn (Democrat), who is behind these forced vaccinations in Virginia, you get the message that she is very, very concerned about kids potentially getting sick from communicable diseases. At the same time Democrats push for free choice when it comes to abortions (my body, my choice!). I am in favor of “my body, my choice” in case of vaccinations and do not want to put dangerous toxins from vaccinations into my body. Especially, I do not want to be told by the state and threatened what I have to put in my body nor in my kids’ bodies.
    We all have to realize that there are evil forces out there that will not relent unless there is a 100% vaccination rate. Just look at California that always serves as the example as to what we can expect in the future ( I remember the strict environmental fuel emissions laws coming out of California concerning SULEV when I worked for a German automotive supplier – SULEV was paving the way for European emission laws). The Californian laws and not just the automotive laws are the gold standard for laws worldwide. We are on our way to a medical tyranny. It’s not a matter of “if” there will be forced vaccinations in Virginia, but only a question of “when” another bill will be introduced and we lose all our rights.

    • Tamir Reply

      February 13, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      Barbara, my daughter and a group of other 6th grraeds are doing a project in conjunction with the international First Lego League Competition.My daughter became aware of nutrition and Dr Mercola through me and one of the other boys on the team has never been vaccinated :)The project specifies that they have to choose a body system (they chose the immune system) – then they have to choose a problem (they have chosen negative side affects of vaccines). Now they have to find a “solution.” Personally I think the solution is to strengthen the immune system naturally through nutrition. But the rules specify that the solution has to be a device that impacts the body. They believe that a change to the vaccine would be that device.We have heard you say that certain things in the vaccines could be changed to make them safer – where can the kids find out more about that? Can you point us to a web site or source of information so they can do more research? At some point in the next few months, would you have time to talk to them briefly?Thanks for all you do. FYI – the kids have to present this project to some people in the community in addition to the judges at the competition.

  3. Blanche Heidengren Reply

    February 2, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Thank you so much for being ready to speak at the hearing! Your message that you would have spoken is right on and a good example for us in other states to follow in case we need to go to a hearing in our states. I am so glad for you and all in VA that this bill was stricken from the docket (for the moment anyway)!
    I am from PA and my first and fourth born children had a Tdap vaccine reaction with brain inflammation as babies and I am concerned about them having any more vaccines.
    Thank you again.

    • Rizal Reply

      February 13, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      Hi Carmine,I don’t need to defend JJ, she is PLENTY clabpae of doing that herself. But I also feel really good about her making public her stand on vaccinations. She is 100% correct that not enough of us stand up and say out loud our pro-vaccine views, even when we feel very strongly about them. Because it is exhausting and we know there is NO amount of evidence that will convince some people. And because we are sick of the mommy wars and unending opinions about parenting. But she is right that this is different, it affects us all. Every one of the studies that you will point to has inherent flaws or bias . Yes, you just described every scientific study ever performed. There is no way to get rid of bias, flaws, confounding variables, etc. Scientists use methods to control for these factors and a critical eye at the data IS important. But if you are bent on dismissing a study because the conclusion does not conform to your pre-conceived view you will likely be able to find something to pin your disbelief on. This is especially true when you are talking about this particular type of research, which is usually retrospective, observational and often dependent on inexact data such as parental memory. And btw,if you are waiting for a randomized, controlled double blind study on vaccinated vs nonvaccinated kids, that will obviously never happen due to ethical concerns. Whether you agree with it or not, the scientific and medical community have reached a consensus on vaccines. The truth is that autism and developmental delays and autoimmune disorders are more than likely far more complicated that a simplistic singular cause like vaccines. And if vaccines WERE the single cause there would be a preponderance of evidence supporting it and we wouldn’t be arguing. The saddest part (aside from people dying from vaccine-preventable disease) is that this faux debate is taking time, energy and money away from research that might actually elucidate the causes of these devastating conditions.Also, this Most of the things we are vaccinating against had already been reduced to extremely low levels prior to the introduction of their vaccine in first world countries. is completely untrue. Please reference Rachel Maddow’s rant about the existence of actual, objective truth.And lastly, vaccines are not 100% effective. No doctor I have ever heard has claimed this. And immunity wanes, that’s why you get boosters. Chemotherapy also has different rates of effectives. A treatment need not be 100% effective to be worthwhile.Well done, JJ. Before your article I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to write this, but I think you are right. I’m coming out.

  4. Watchmom3 Reply

    February 2, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Thank you SO much for fighting this battle in Virginia. I am grateful that there are still those in this nation who have the intellect to see thru this veiled attempt to control the population. Thank you for being on the front lines…may God bless all those who try to protect freedom and truth.

  5. Vani Reply

    February 14, 2016 at 1:07 am

    While I am sure that you feel good about yourself for manikg public your stand on vaccination, your blog post is filled with the same hype that you suppose that the anti-vaccine camp uses.First, your claim that it has been repeatedly been disproven that there is no link between vaccines and autism (or any other of the ever growing numbers of childhood medical issues) is just not true. Every one of the studies that you will point to has inherent flaws or bias.Another overlooked point is that a majority of the outbreaks you mention are occurring in individuals that have already been vaccinated. If the vaccines were effective, this shouldn’t be the case.Most of the things we are vaccinating against had already been reduced to extremely low levels prior to the introduction of their vaccine in first world countries.Not a single study exists providing for the safety of an individual that is given multiple vaccinations on a single visit, yet this is exactly what happens.Most of the people that you label as anti-vax are truly not anti-vax but are interested in safe vaccines. Ones that have truly independent safety and efficacy studies.If you want to settle the argument, that can be done very easily, with a study of the health of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children. This information would be useful to both camps; those for vaccination and those against.

  6. Janet Tirado Reply

    March 1, 2016 at 9:43 am

    What state was that in?

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