You may have heard that the Vermont legislature is considering two bills that would eliminate the philosophical exemption option from their immunization law. This would make it very difficult for parents to simply opt-out of vaccinating their children and still send those children into day-care and school settings. The Senate Health and Welfare Committee took testimony on January 24th. This bill has been referred to the House Education Committee, but they have not scheduled testimony.
That's great, you say. But what's the point? Here's the point. As much as we'd love to write a letter of support for this bill, it would not do a thing--if it would even be read--as Moms Who Vax is based out of Minnesota. So I am taking to the blogwaves to ask if anyone from Vermont is reading this article and cares about the health and safety, not just of their own children, but also the health of other children (including infant siblings, immuno-compromised kids who can't be vaccinated, etc) to please contact Vermont legislators. An e-mail will suffice.
Because here's the deal--the anti-vax community is very small when compared to the number of people who vaccinate their kids. But they are much better mobilized, because they are fighting for their ability to send their kids into daycare and school settings without being vaccinated, and putting the entire school at risk. A large turnout or letter-writing campaign from the statistically small group of non-vaccinators would suggest to legislators a huge outcry against removing this exemption than actually exists.
The full text of the bills can be found at http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2012/bills/Intro/S-199.pdf and http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2012/bills/Intro/H-527.pdf.
Please contact members of both the Senate Health and Welfare Committee and the House Education Committee and express your support of the elimination of a philosophical exemption from the requirement that all children attending school and child care facilities receive immunizations specified by the department of health.
· Email today and ask the Senators and Representatives to join you in your support for the health of the children of Vermont - Support S.199 & H.527. E-mail addresses are below. And listen, this thing doesn't need to be long. In fact, keep it simple. You're a parent who vaccinates in order to protect your child--and the children of the community--from deadly vaccine-preventable diseases. There should be some obstacle put in place that at least makes it harder for parents who decide not to vaccinate their kids, then throw them into classes with the rest of the community. It's not fair. Parents who vax have rights, too.
Senate Health & Welfare Committee Members (S.199)
Senator Claire Ayer, Chair - email@example.com
Senator Kevin Mullin, Vice Chair - firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Hinda Miller - email@example.com
House Education Committee (H.527)
Gregory Clark - firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary Gilbert - email@example.com
Peter Perley - firstname.lastname@example.org