Vermont Parents Fight to Save Philosophical Exemption

On February 28, 2012, in Uncategorized, by Dr. Mercola

By Dr. Mercola

Non-medical vaccine exemptions are under serious attack across the United States, with the latest assault happening in Vermont.

It is extremely important that Vermont residents, who want to protect their right to obtain a philosophical exemption to vaccination for their children, IMMEDIATELY contact their state representative and senator and ask them to vote “NO” to S. 199 and H. 527.

Legislators in other states may soon follow Vermont’s lead and try to restrict your right to make voluntary vaccine choices.

You can help fight for the right to make voluntary decisions about vaccination in Vermont and every state by becoming a user of the National Vaccine Information Center’s (NVIC) Advocacy Portal and taking action today.

Using the online NVIC Advocacy Portal is free and you are quickly put in touch with your elected state representatives and senators with the click of a mouse or a touch of your Smartphone screen so you can make your voice heard.

Why is Protecting Your Right to Vaccine Exemptions so Important?

As of 2011, all 50 states have enacted vaccine laws that require proof children have received certain vaccines in order to attend daycare, middle school, high school and college.

However, in most states citizens currently have the legal right to opt out of using vaccines. The issue of protecting your right to make an informed, voluntary vaccination choice for yourself or your child in the United States is about defending human rights. As Barbara Loe Fisher, president of NVIC, states:

“While the State may have the legal authority to mandate use of vaccines, nobody has the moral authority to FORCE you to get vaccinated or vaccinate your child without your voluntary, informed consent.”

This — the right to choose what is injected into your body or your child’s — is a decision that is a matter of life and death for some individuals, as the current one-size-fits-all approach to vaccination does not take into account differences among children’s genetic profiles or immune responses based on factors such as age, weight, personal and family medical history and overall health status.

Each and every vaccine carries an inherent risk of causing a reaction, injury or death that can be greater for some individuals than others — and many do not know they are at increased biological risk until it is too late. This is why I often remind readers that, ultimately, it is your responsibility to exercise due diligence and do your own research to decide for yourself which vaccines you do or do not want your child to receive, if any at all. As Fisher continues:

“More than $2 billion dollars has been awarded to children and adults in America, who have been seriously injured by vaccines … We are not all the same. People are injured or die from vaccination because vaccine risks are greater for some than others and sometimes vaccines fail to work at all. That is a big reason why there are vaccine exemptions in state public health laws for medical, religious and conscientious or philosophical beliefs.”

What is a Philosophical Vaccine Exemption?

In Vermont, State Senator Kevin Mullin and State Representative George Till are working with the Vermont Health Commissioner, Dr. Harry Chen and medical trade organizations funded by pharmaceutical companies, to take away philosophical exemption to vaccination with two bills before the state House and Senate — S. 199 and H. 527.

Vermont parents, including a mother and father whose seven year old daughter died within 92 hours of a routine flu shot, are urging Vermont legislators to oppose the bills that would strip Vermonters of their right to exercise philosophical belief exemption to vaccination (see VIDEO).

As it stands, Vermont is one of 18 states that allows conscientious, personal or philosophical exemptions to vaccination. These include:

Arizona California Colorado
Idaho Louisiana Maine
Michigan Minnesota New Mexico
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma
Rhode Island Texas Utah
Vermont Washington Wisconsin

These states come the closest to protecting a citizen’s right to exercise voluntary, informed consent to vaccination in America. However, this exemption, like the religious exemption, is under attack by proponents of inflexible one-size-fits all mandatory vaccination laws, who want to eliminate all non-medical exemptions to vaccination in America.

As you are probably well aware, the vaccine industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and it does NOT want you to have the choice to refuse the use of their products! So you can expect that the philosophical and religious vaccine exemptions will remain under attack.

It is shocking, but a fact that, since 1986, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) (which, by the way, receives millions of dollars from vaccine manufacturers) have eliminated almost every medical condition that qualifies as an officially recognized medical reason for withholding vaccination (contraindications). Today, almost no medical condition qualifies for a medical exemption to vaccination. In most states, a medical exemption to vaccination written by a medical doctor can be denied by schools and public health officials if the medical reason given does not strictly conform to CDC and AAP contraindication guidelines. Even children, who have suffered previous vaccine reaction symptoms or are vaccine injured can be forced to be re-vaccinated!

So, this is not simply an issue of being for or against vaccination; it’s a matter of protecting your legal and human right to abstain from risky medical interventions for yourself and your children. Vaccination is a medical procedure, and virtually every medical procedure comes with risks attached, risks that can be greater for some than others. As a parent, do you really want this decision to be taken out of your hands completely, and forced upon you and your child even if use of one or more vaccines conflicts with your reasonable, sound judgment, your conscience or your spiritual beliefs?

How Many More Vaccines Will Soon be Forced Upon Your Child?

The U.S. government recommends children get 69 doses of 16 vaccines from the day of birth to age 18, most of which are required in order for children to attend public school or daycare. This may sound like a lot, and it is, but it has certainly not reached its upper limit as far as the vaccine industry is concerned. Not even close.

Each new vaccine public health officials add to the government recommended vaccine schedule is a guaranteed cash cow, as it means nearly every child in the United States will be legally forced to use multiple doses of each vaccine. And if all vaccine exemptions are stripped from public health laws, they can push those numbers to nearly 100% of U.S. children.  At that point, there will be no unvaccinated populations and it will be impossible to compare the long term health outcomes of children, who remain unvaccinated or use fewer vaccines, with the health of highly vaccinated children. This will eliminate the opportunity to document which populations are healthier – the highly vaccinated or the unvaccinated.

Just imagine the money at stake … the base cost for a child to get every government-recommended vaccine in a private pediatrician’s office has increased from $80 per child in 1986 to a whopping $2,200 per child in 2011! And it’s estimated that by 2013, the global market for vaccines will be worth more than $36 billion.i  As it stands, there are hundreds of new vaccines in the pipeline, many of which will be federally recommended to children. As Fisher states:

“In the future, the state of Vermont could add 10, 20, 30 or more vaccinations to state public health laws. Should every vaccine that Big Pharma creates and doctors want legislators to mandate be legally required for all children without parents being informed and allowed to make a voluntary choice?”

Here’s an example of just 16 new vaccines being developed. Would you want your child to be forced to receive these, with no say in the matter whatsoever?

Syphilis Vaccine Gonorrhea Vaccine Genital Herpes Vaccine Hepatitis C Vaccine
E. Coli Vaccine Salmonella Vaccine Chlamydia Vaccine Cytomegalovirus Vaccine
HIV/AIDS Vaccine Tooth Decay Vaccine Anti-Smoking Vaccine Anti-Cocaine Addiction Vaccine
Bad Breath Vaccine Diabetes Vaccine Asthma Vaccine Norovirus Vaccine

Fisher explains

“The only barrier left to unlimited vaccine profit-making is the freedom for Americans to choose whether or not to use every new vaccine Pharma creates and wants mandated. Freedom of choice is something Big Pharma and the medical lobby does not want you to have.

They know that many educated consumers in America and around the world are dissatisfied with the old pharmaceutical-based health care paradigm … And we are questioning why we and our children should be required to get a long list of expensive vaccines that carry serious risks and sometimes don’t work at all.

… So Pharma is funding medical organizations profiting from mass vaccination policies to press politicians into quickly passing laws that force Americans to buy and use dozens of doses of vaccines. The goal is to demand that everyone salute smartly and obey doctors’ orders to get vaccinated or be barred from getting an education, health insurance, medical care or a job. The goal is to, in effect, brand unvaccinated citizens as enemies of the state, so they can be fined or imprisoned. Can this really be happening in America? Yes, it can.”

Do You Think the U.S. Vaccine Schedule Has Been Safety Tested?

It would seem like a no-brainer that the federally recommended vaccine schedule would be rigorously safety tested to protect our most vulnerable citizens, our children — but sadly, it is not.

There is no system of “checks and balances” when it comes to vaccine safety. Vaccines come no where near being adequately tested for safety before they are licensed using methodologically sound scientific studies. The long-term side effects and potential negative impact on individual and community health of using multiple vaccines in childhood remains largely unknown because it has not been fully scientifically investigated.  Moreover, the effects of multiple vaccines given simultaneously on the same day have not been adequately tested. And pharmaceutical companies have financed nearly all vaccine research to date, which introduces enormous bias.

Large studies comparing the health outcomes of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children have not been a priority for vaccine researchers. Most vaccine studies are about developing more vaccines for children and adults to use. And many health officials, reluctant to compare the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated children, claim that studies cannot be done because it would be “unethical” to leave children participating in the study unvaccinated or partially vaccinated in order to do the comparison.

Adding insult to injury, quite literally in this case, vaccine manufacturers are totally shielded from liability and accountability in civil court for vaccine injuries and deaths. In February 2011 – unbelievably – the U.S. Supreme Court gave drug companies making and selling vaccines TOTAL immunity from civil lawsuits- even if it could be shown they could have made a vaccine less toxic – because the Court said “vaccines are unavoidably unsafe.” .

Well, if vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe” – how many people are being hurt by those “unavoidably unsafe” vaccines? Where are the methodologically sound studies to demonstrate that the long term health of highly vaccinated children is superior to the long term health of unvaccinated children? How do we know that the use of many more vaccines in this century than were given to children in the last century is not causing more and more children to become chronically ill and disabled?

In August 2011, an important vaccine safety review was issued by an Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee. According to their review of over 1,000 vaccine studies published in the medical literature, the IOM Committee was unable to determine whether or not vaccines are a causative factor in over 100 serious adverse health outcomes reportedly associated with eight routinely used childhood vaccines.  In short: the published research presently available is insufficient and cannot be used to confirm or reject causation for many poor health outcomes associated with many vaccines routinely given to children.

Grassroots Efforts, Lawsuits to Protect Vaccine Exemptions on the Rise

About 13 percent of parents are now using an “alternative” vaccination schedule for their young children, and 2 percent of parents are refusing vaccines altogether for their children.ii  Parents are losing faith in one-size-fits-all vaccine policies and doctors, who push them. A growing number of vaccine educated parents, both those with vaccine-injured children and those with healthy children, are fed up with the attack on their right to voluntary, informed consent to vaccination — and now they’re fighting back.

It is happening in West Virginia, one of only two states that allows only medical exemption to vaccination (and where regulators are increasingly denying even that). Along with residents spear-heading efforts to pass Senate Bill 50, which would allow philosophical and religious exemptions to vaccinations, a lawsuit has been filed against the state Health Department, alleging the agency’s mandating of vaccinations is in violation of constitutional rights.

WTRF 7 News reported:iii

“Some believe the way the Health Department is mandating vaccinations is violating our constitutional rights. On February 6th, local attorney’s from Harris Law Offices filed suit in front of Judge Irene Keeley in Clarksburg, asking for this to be ruled unconstitutional. In 2004 and 2005, the Health Department went to the state representatives and asked to have more immunizations required under statutory code. They were denied both times

“West Virginia code requires six immunizations for children, mandatory to attend school,” says Shawn Fluharty, of Harris Law Offices. “The Health Department has bypassed the State Legislature and said ‘we need you to have upwards to nine’.”  Which leaves many asking, how did they do that? “They have been using a thing called interpretive rule,” says Grindley. By bypassing that process, Fluharty says “they’re really going at the heart of democracy.””

Act Now to Protect Vaccine Exemption in Vermont and Elsewhere

You can help fight for the right to make voluntary decisions about vaccination in Vermont, West Virginia and every state by visiting the NVIC’s Advocacy Portal and taking action today. There you will find urgent action items needing to be taken to protect vaccine choices in states across the U.S., from California to New York.

While it may seem “old-fashioned,” the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the right to informed consent to vaccination and legal vaccine exemptions is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community.


Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.

Signing up for NVIC’s free online Advocacy Portal at not only gives you access to practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community and state, but when national vaccine issues come up, too, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips to make sure your voice is heard.

So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Contact Your Elected Officials

Write or email your elected state representatives and share your concerns. Call them, or better yet, make an appointment to visit them in person in their office. Don’t let them forget you!

It is so important for you to reach out and make sure your concerns get on the radar screen of the leaders and opinion makers in your community, especially the politicians you elect and are directly involved in making vaccine laws in your state. These are your elected representatives, so you have a right and a responsibility to let them know what’s really happening in your life and the lives of people you know when it comes to vaccine mandates. Be sure to share the “real life” experiences that you or people you know have had with vaccination.

Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know

If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury or death, please talk about it. If we don’t share information and experiences with each other, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.

I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the “other side” of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.

We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than “statistically acceptable collateral damage” of national one-size-fits-all mass vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and even death. We shouldn’t be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at

  • NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
  • If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries
  • Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors or government officials for making independent vaccine choices.

Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One that Will Listen and Care

If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don’t want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.

However, there is hope.

At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they’re starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.

So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.


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