WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Defending informed consent rights in response to recently proposed forced vaccination laws in America, the non-profit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is sponsoring a pro-education, pro-informed choice message in New York City’s Times Square and on major highways in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. NVIC’s tri-state public information campaign follows billboard and bus campaigns in the states of Colorado, Vermont, New Hampshire, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Illinois, Georgia, New York and Texas in 2013 and 2014.
The “No Forced Vaccination” message is being displayed in Times Square on the 30 by 60 foot digital screen at 1500 Broadway and W. 43rd Street; in Philadelphia on the Pennsylvania Turnpike bridge leading west toward Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and also on southbound I-95; and in New Jersey on both the high traffic East Brunswick I-95 exit northbound to New York City, as well as on Rt. 22 west approaching the headquarters of Merck & Co. The total weekly reach of NVIC’s message is 12 million people.
NVIC’s three-decade pro-education, pro-choice advocacy work helped grassroots activists in Washington, Oregon, Maryland and North Carolina defeat or stall bills proposed this year to eliminate religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions.
California is currently holding public hearings on a bill (SB277) that would force every child in the state to get dozens of doses of 16 federal government recommended vaccines or be denied a public or private education if parents cannot find a doctor to write a medical exemption. The bill’s sponsor, pediatrician Richard Pan, M.D., has not revealed what kind of legal punishment parents would face if they refuse to comply, although parents can be fined and imprisoned in the state for truancy.
“Forced vaccination laws are a violation of civil and human rights and an attack on fundamental values and beliefs that Americans have honored since the Bill of Rights was ratified in the U.S. Constitution in 1791,” said NVIC co-founder and president Barbara Loe Fisher. “Vaccines are pharmaceutical products that carry a risk of harm and failure and both vaccine manufacturers and doctors are completely shielded from civil liability and accountability when those risks turn out to be 100 percent for a child.”
Since 51 cases of measles were identified in Disneyland, California in early January 2015, more than 100 vaccine bills have been introduced in state legislatures. Some of the proposed laws would not only remove non-medical vaccine exemptions but also restrict medical exemptions to federally approved contraindications; require schools to publicly post vaccine exemption rates; and deny employment to teachers and all school staff unable to show proof of vaccination.
““Doctors cannot predict who will be harmed by vaccination and many refuse to acknowledge vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths or write medical vaccine exemptions. If the human right to informed consent to medical risk taking is abandoned, Americans can be exploited by liability-free corporations using government police power to force purchase and use of their products,” said Fisher.”
In the past three months, there have been calls by mainstream media outlets for public identification, criminal prosecution and imprisonment of parents whose children have not gotten every federally recommended vaccine. The citizen-led push back against proposed forced vaccination laws comes at a time when federal health officials have announced a National Adult Immunization Plan to electronically track the vaccination status of all adults and engage employers, churches and other private groups to increase adult use of government recommended vaccines.
“A handful of measles cases in our population of 317 million people does not justify gutting long standing vaccine exemptions in order to discriminate against and punish a minority of citizens objecting to government health policies that fail to respect biodiversity or religious and conscientious beliefs.” said Fisher.
The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) was founded in 1982 to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and does not make vaccine use recommendations. A non-profit charitable and educational organization, NVIC supports codification of the informing, recording and reporting vaccine safety provisions in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 into state public health laws and advocates for the inclusion of flexible medical, religious and conscientious belief exemptions in all U.S. vaccine policies and laws.