During the Eighth Annual Vaccine Awareness Week co-sponsored by the non-profit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) and Dr. Joseph Mercola, today NVIC is releasing a 2015-2017 Vaccine Legislative Action Report detailing the successful grassroots advocacy effort in the U.S. to protect medical, religious and conscientious belief exemptions in state vaccine laws.
Through the online NVIC Advocacy Portal, NVIC closely monitored legislation in all 50 states and analyzed and issued positions on 454 vaccine-related bills introduced in state legislatures between 2015 and 2017. No state has eliminated vaccine exemptions since 2015, when California repealed the personal belief exemption and Vermont took away the philosophical exemption for children to attend school.
Commenting on the fact that state legislatures are rejecting the erosion of informed consent protections in vaccine laws, NVIC Director of Advocacy Dawn Richardson said, “What happened in California in 2015 woke parents up and we heard from families who said, ‘this is not happening to my child, not in my state,’ and they fought back. The attack on vaccine exemptions has escalated the public conversation about vaccine laws to a level we have never seen before.”
During the 2017 legislative session, NVIC reported on 184 vaccine bills filed in 42 states, including bills to restrict or eliminate vaccine exemptions, mandate more vaccines for children and adults, and enroll children in electronic vaccine tracking systems without their parent’s informed consent. Out of 116 bills that NVIC opposed, only seven bills threatening NVIC’s mission passed and none of them repealed vaccine exemptions.
In 2017, NVIC supported 39 out of 81 exemption-related bills because the bills would have added or expanded personal belief vaccine exemptions, rather than restrict or eliminate them. Richardson said, “For the first time, in 2017 we saw almost as many bills filed by legislators to add or expand vaccine exemptions and informed consent rights as those filed to eliminate or restrict them. There is no question that this trend is directly related to the sustained three year attack on vaccine exemptions by public health officials and medical trade lobbyists connected to the vaccine industry.”
Vaccine Awareness Week Nov. 5-11, 2017 features video interviews and articles on vaccine topics posted on NVIC.org and Mercola.com. Defending the human right to informed consent in a commentary, “From Nuremberg to California: Why Informed Consent Matters in the 21st Century,” NVIC Co-founder & President Barbara Loe Fisher called on doctors to “reject utilitarianism as a guide to the practice of medicine so ‘consensus science’ orthodoxy will give way to real science that yields the truth about vaccination and health.”
NVIC and Mercola.com have been working together since 2008 to educate the public about vaccination and health. Dr. Joe Mercola is a family practice physician and founder of the world’s largest natural health information website. He said, “I am a fan of personal autonomy and freedom. If we have any hope of seeing healthy future generations, everyone should get involved in taking action to protect our freedom to make vaccine choices and take control of our health.”
The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is a charitable educational organization founded in 1982 with the mission of preventing vaccine injuries and deaths through public education. NVIC advocates for reform of US vaccine policies and laws to include informed consent protections and flexible medical, religious and conscientious belief exemptions. NVIC operates three websites: NVIC.org, NVICAdvocacy.org and TheVaccineReaction.org.
Mercola.com was founded by Dr. Joseph Mercola in 1997 to share the most up-to-date natural health information and resources with the public. The Mercola website currently receives over 30 million page views monthly and the online daily Mercola Newsletter has more than one million subscribers.
National Vaccine Information Center
Barbara Loe Fisher, 703-938-0342