Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Doing Our Part

In Minnesota, the Department of Health is moving forward with its effort to bring Minnesota school immunization law into line with CDC recommendations. I know, it sounds riveting!

In reality, this move is of exceptional importance, because, like many states, our immunization rules are confusing; CDC recommendations don't have to go through the legislative equivalent of the Tough Mudder race to come into play. In Minnesota, and other states, we do.

I bring this up because an important component of any possible new or revised rule requires, by law, a series of public meetings. These are opportunities for members of the public to voice concerns or support for the propose rule. Because this is an immunization rule revision, our friends at the Department of Health are certain to hear from a well-organized cadre of anti-vaccine activists and parents. Alas, on the pro-vaccine side--which can boast the largest membership, upwards of 90% of the parenting population--we are not so well-organized because, well, we have lives that don't revolve around likening pediatricians
to Nazi doctors and trying to push for "Nurenberg-style trials" for pediatricians (Source: International Medical Veritas Association. You want crazy? You got crazy. I refuse to post their website, but give them a Google search).

This being said, because the anti-vax contingent is so vocal and over the top, they tend to make a lot of noise and, like blowfish, appear bigger than they really are. So it's become important that parents who vaccinate their children because they know it's the right thing to do for their own kids, as well as the community at large (see Karen Ernst's fantastic post at Parents Who Protect) show up at these things. If you happen to live in Minnesota, please consider attending the Minnesota Immunization Rule Revision Public Meeting which takes place Thursday, June 14th from 5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at the Orville L. Freeman Building in St. Paul. Detailed information is below. I have also included information about the video/satellite meetings across the state of Minnesota on June 18th. If you live in the greater Twin Cities area or beyond, consider high-footing it to one of the locations below. 

This will provide you an opportunity to speak up, show public officials another side of this debate. In upcoming days, I will also post a sample letter you can send to the Department of Health in support of these rules. The deadline for these letters is June 30, 2012.

Minnesota Immunization Rule Revision
Public Meetings

Interested persons or groups may submit comments or information on these possible rules in writing or orally until 4:30 p.m. on June 30, 2012.
The Department will hold two public meetings on the rules.
  • Thursday, June 14, 2012
    5:30 - 8:00 p.m.
    Orville L. Freeman Building
    625 North Robert Street
    St. Paul, Minnesota 55155
    Parking in the Centennial Ramp is free after 4:30. The Green (or lowest) Level is closest to the main entrance. Map (PDF: 427KB/1 page)
    Please allow for extra time because of the construction and road closures around the Freeman Building and in St. Paul. Road closures and detours change often, see the Central Corridor Light Rail Transitsite for the latest. Attention: Non-MDH link
  • Monday, June 18, 2012
    11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
    Video conference at locations listed below
    Registration is not required but is appreciated: Click to Register
    Select "MN Imm Rule Revision Video Conf - [city of attendance]" from the drop-down Event list.
MDH - Bemidji Office
705 5th St NW, Suite A
Bemidji, MN
MDH - Marshall Office
1400 East Lyon St
Marshall, MN
Crow Wing County Social Services
204 Laurel St
Brainerd, MN
MDH - Rochester Office
18 Wood Lake Dr SE
Rochester, MN
Polk County Public Health
721 S Minnesota St
Crookston, MN
Roseau County Social Services
208 6th St SW
Roseau, MN
St. Louis County Government Service Center
320 West Second St, Room 406
Duluth, MN
MDH - St. Cloud 
Midtown Square
3333 West Division St, Suite 212
St. Cloud, MN
MDH - Fergus Falls Office
1505 Pebble Lake Rd,
Suite 300
Fergus Falls, MN
MDH - Snelling Office ParkMississippi Room
1645 Energy Park Drive
St. Paul, MN
Koochiching County
715 4th St, 3rd Floor
International Falls, MN
Kandiyohi County Human Services
2200 23rd St NE
Willmar, MN
MDH - Mankato Place
12 Civic Center Plaza,
Suite 2105
Mankato, MN

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