Sunday, February 12, 2012

Compromising Children's Health and Safety...

Received news this morning regarding the interesting legislation working its way through the Vermont State Legislature over the last week or so that I wanted to pass on. As many of you know, Vermont is currently trying to remove its philosophical or "conscientious" objection opt-out in vaccine law, in order to better protect children. And, as expected, the anti-vax community is fighting tooth and nail to make sure they can continue to refuse to vaccinate their children AND send them to school with no obstacles or challenges. They don't seem to care that this happens when unvaccinated children contract the diseases they could have been vaccinated against, and pass those diseases on to other people.

Today we learned from PKids that   “a compromise on S.199 has been introduced by the Senate Health & Welfare committee.  The proposal would require a conversation between a parent and their child’s Primary Care Provider which included a discussion of the risks and benefits of refusing a vaccination. After this discussion and after sign off by the provider the exemption would be accepted. The process could be incorporated into routine well-child visits before school entry or during the provisional entry period. The proposed legislative language and a sample of a draft exemption form is attached.  The original bill can be found at"

The committee is voting next Tuesday--Valentine's Day--on the compromise, as well as the original bill. As parents who love our children, and the children of parents who choose not to vaccinate them, we really need to get on the horn, or the keyboard, and get in touch with these Senators and ask them to pass S.199 as written. I'm not willing to compromise on the health of my kids. I doubt any of us are. 

If you are from Vermont or know anyone in Vermont--he or she does not even have to be a parent--please ask them to contact their legislators at the e-mail address or phone numbers below. Some talking points include the following:

·       This “compromise” does nothing to improve the protection of our vulnerable children in public daycare and school. 

·       This only formalizes and gives credence to philosophical objection to vaccines making it more ‘official’ that we are slipping backwards on this issue.

·       Why would Vermont adopt the plan of a state (Washington) that is one of three states with the poorest of immunization rates? While their recent legislation hasn’t been around long enough to be evaluated thoroughly, viewed reasonably, it is not likely to have a significant impact on immunization rates.

·       Children are not political decisions, please do not allow children to be opted out of a lifetime of health and happiness.

Senate Health and Welfare

Sen. Claire Ayer, Chair, 504 Thompson Hill Rd., Weybridge, VT 05753
(802) 545-2142
Sen. Kevin Mullin, Vice Chair, 118 Ox Yoke Dr., Rutland, VT 05701
(802) 775-7631 -
Sen. Anthony Pollina, Clerk, 93 Story Rd., North Middlesex, VT 05682
(802) 229-5809 -
Sen. Sally Fox, 80 Bartlett Bay Rd., South Burlington, VT 05403
(802) 860-6428 -
Sen. Hinda Miller, 84 Deforest Heights, Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 862-7008 -

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