Craziness: 69 doses of 16 vaccines by age 18
According to government recommendations, starting the day of their birth until they reach age 18, American children are supposed to have 69 doses of 16 different vaccines. If they don’t, they can be barred from school, thrown out of insurance plans, and even denied access to some government programs.
“That’s three times as many vaccines as children got 25 years ago,” said Barbara Loe Fisher, founder and head of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) and co-author of “A Shot in the Dark,” in an interview with Timothy Feuling, publisher of The Chiropractic Journal. “It’s just craziness.”
For the last three decades, Fisher has been working to educate parents about the dangers of vaccines and to protect their rights to make their own decisions about their family’s health care.
She become a leader in the anti-vaccine movement when her son suffered a neurological
reaction to his fourth DPT shot at age two and a half that caused brain dysfunction, including multiple learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder. At the time, she was one of the few people taking a stand against forced vaccinations. Alternative health care professions like chiropractic hadn’t joined forces on the issue and the internet didn’t yet provide the ability to reach mass audiences.
Today, her allies have grown in number and electronic communication tools allow her to reach millions of people around the world. Yet, the problem remains the same and has become even more of a threat to health and freedom.
Late last year, the NVIC and other vaccine rights organizations were taken by surprise when the state of Washington quickly and quietly passed a bill requiring parents to obtain a “permission slip” from a medical doctor or nurse in order to qualify for a religious or personal belief exemption to vaccination. Already, there are unofficial reports that many MDs are refusing to sign the necessary forms and are even refusing to see patients who request an appointment for that reason.
A press release issued May 17 by the state’s Department of Health boasted: “Washington’s rate of exemption from vaccines required for school has dropped significantly in the first year since passage of a law that changed the parental opt-out process.”
The NVIC had more time to prepare when a similar law was introduced in Vermont. Fisher’s group mobilized and alerted supporters and activists around the state, who inundated legislators with protests and packed the house hearing room. By the time the bill came up for a vote, it had been amended to preserve the philosophical exemption provision. In aBurlington Free Press article, Tom McLeod, a key member of the Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice, was quoted as saying, “The most dangerous place in the woods is between a mother bear and her cubs.”
Having helped win that victory, the NVIC moved on to California, where legislation (AB 2109) was introduced that, as in Washington, would force parents to go to a medical provider to get a personal belief exemption. “We’re not talking only about philosophical beliefs, but religious ones as well,” Fisher explained. “This bill would give medical doctors the right to make judgments about religious beliefs.”
Fisher and the NVIC have been playing a major role in the campaign to defeat AB2109 and the response from the public has been heartening. “At the hearings, parents with babies in their arms with children in tow have showed up and testified in opposition to the bill. I was blown away by the number of Californians who traveled to Sacramento to stand up and publicly testify against this bill.”
She gave special praise to chiropractors who have been in the forefront of the battle. “I met many doctors I’ve known since 1993, when I began talking with chiropractors about these issues,” she said. “They added so much energy and commitment.”
The pro-vaccine side was ready for her. She noted that “Medical doctors and medical students were bussed in, programmed to say the same thing: ‘We strongly support this bill and we will happily sign the form.’ I didn’t believe it and neither did any of the parents.”
On May 10, the bill passed the House and is (as of press time) awaiting action in the Senate. “This is a real battle in California,” Fisher stressed. “I would urge anyone who wants to protect the personal belief exemption, to sign up at the NVIC advocacy portal (nvicadvocacy.org) a free online communication network that allows people to get up-to-date, real time information about vaccine activity in their state.”
Despite the praise heaped on Fisher and the NIVC, she says the real power belongs to the health consumers and voters.
“Showing people what to do is one thing, but at the end of the day it’s the individual who has to take action,” she admitted. “Legislators will listen to organizations but they pay more attention to the constituents who re-elect them. Empowerment is at the local level, the individual level. When I saw all those parents and supporters in the hearing room, I realized that our message had been received and people had the courage to publicly testify. That’s huge. That’s what it’s going to take to roll back this encroachment on our personal liberties. This wealthy, pharma-led lobby is very powerful politically. They’ve inserted themselves into the system and that’s what we have to do.”
For more information on NVIC, and to support their efforts, visit NVIC.org.