30 STATES WITH VACCINE BILLS NEEDING YOUR ACTION – FEBRUARY 7, 2017
Dear NVIC Advocacy Team Members,
We have only finished the first full month of the 2017 legislative session, and already we are tracking 103 vaccine related bills across 30 states on the NVIC Advocacy Portal. To put the sheer volume of bills in perspective, we tracked a total of 106 bills in the entire legislative session last year. If you live in one of the following states, there are already vaccine bills filed that can affect your rights (states listed in red are new since our last update): AR, AZ, CT, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, ME, MN, MO, MS, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, TX, VA, and WA.
The following states are priority opposition alert state as they now have bills to restrict or eliminate vaccine exemptions: AR (withdrawn), CT, IA, MN, NY, OK, PA, and TX.
The following states are priority support alert states as they now have bills to add or expand vaccine exemptions: HI, IA, MS (died), NJ, NY, OK, RI, and TX.
If you are in any of the following states, beware that there are bills filed to expand vaccine tracking or eliminate OPT-IN Consent for vaccine tracking and that these need to be opposed: CT, ID, KS, MA, MT, NY, and TX.
RECENT WINS IN VA CAN HELP AZ, IN, KS, KY, ME, NY, OK, OR and TX DEFEAT BAD BILLS
Congratulations to the families in Virginia for recently stopping 3 bad bills! Virginia NVIC State Director Kathi Williams expresses her gratitude for everyone who came together to educate legislators.
Both HB 1533 and SB 1519 would have mandated meningitis vaccines. Fortunately an education of legislators by NVIC and Virginia families from around the state helped contribute to failure of the meningitis vaccine mandate bills to move forward. Currently, the following states have bad bills to mandate meningitis vaccines: IN, KS, KY, ME, and OR. Two things that may help residents of those states to fight these meningitis vaccine mandate bills are 1) NVIC Handout on Meningococcal Disease and the Vaccine 2) The NVIC Advocacy Team Action Alert against (Found on http://NVICAdvocacy.org on the Virginia State Team Page under Expired Alerts).
The other bad bill defeated in Virginia, SB 1028, would have required vaccine exemption rates to be posted publically by each school. NVIC issued an emergency email action alert. This bill was so offensive to NVIC President and Co-Founder Barbara Loe Fisher that she talked to the bill author herself, and the bill author withdrew the bill voluntarily.
We opposed this bill and others like it that have come before it because they have nothing to do with health. These bills are part of a documented political strategy used by forced vaccination supporters to instigate a hostile community environment against those using exemptions to lead to the removal of vaccine exemptions.
From Milbank Quarterly “Power and persuasion in the vaccine debates: an analysis of political efforts and outcomes in the United States, 1998-2012”, September 9, 2014.
“Immunization supporters thus could do more to highlight the sympathetic figures on their side, such as immune-compromised children who rely on herd immunity, or unvaccinated people who contracted vaccine-preventable diseases and regret not being vaccinated…”
For example, a bill could require that schools and day care centers publicly post or distribute to parents the percentage of students with vaccine exemptions or the percentage of staff who have received a flu shot or whooping cough booster, as news coverage of disease outbreaks has raised public awareness about the unvaccinated. Although these numbers already have been collected, their public release would generate the news coverage and scrutiny that have proved helpful in the West Coast’s legislative changes.
Families in the states of AZ, NY, and OK need to work hard to defeat the following bills which authorize the public release of vaccine exemption rates or numbers by individual schools:
AZ: SB 1509, NY: S2955 and A3912, OK: SB177. Families in Texas need to be on the lookout for a similar bill to be filed as referenced in recent vaccine proponent newsletters.
Even though bills like these do not authorize the public release of individually identifiable information, the numbers of children utilizing exemptions in many schools are so small that this group of bills puts the exposure of their identity at risk. This would be considered a FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) violation.