Contact State Legislators Immediately
Dear Hawaii NVIC Advocacy Team Members,
We are requesting your immediate communication with your state legislators to OPPOSE an unprecedented attack on religious rights, parental rights and health freedom in Hawaii.
Seven bills have been introduced in Hawaii that combined could turn Hawaii into America’s only FORCED vaccination state.
The following bills need to be vigorously opposed:
HB 1946 and SB 2393 would require that the state director of health implement rules for vaccine requirements for the state of Hawaii that codify federal recommendations by the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) within 90 days of the recommendation. SB 2393 is scheduled for a hearing Feb. 4, 2016 at 9:00 AM in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health in conference room 229.
HB 1910 and SB 2316 would mandate that all students entering 7th grade in Hawaii receive at least one dose of HPV (human papillomavirus/Gardasil vaccine). These bills would also allow pharmacists to administer HPV Vaccines to children between the ages of 11 and 17 and require all insurance policies to cover 3 visits for HPV Vaccine. SB 2316 is scheduled for a hearing on Feb. 2, 2016 at 9:45 AM in conference room 229. This is a joint committee hearing with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health and the Senate Committee on Education.
HB 1945 and SB 2394 would mandate health care workers receive a yearly flu vaccine. “Health care worker” means all persons, whether paid or unpaid, working or delivering services in a health care facility, including contractors and their employees whose occupational activities involve direct or indirect contact with patients or contaminated material in a health care, hospital, or clinical laboratory setting. SB 2394 is scheduled for a hearing Feb. 4, 2016 at 9:00 AM in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health in conference room 229.
HB 1722 would eliminate the religious belief exemption to vaccination for public school students. This bill prohibits a parent from exercising their freedom of conscience that applies to their religious beliefs and obtaining a religious exemption for their child for one or more state required vaccinations. The bill is sponsored by Rep. John Mizuno and has been referred to the House Health, Education and Finance Committees. Even though this bill has been referred to three committees, it is not yet scheduled for a public hearing.
LEGISLATIVE EDUCATION ACTION NEEDED NOW:
1. VISIT, CALL, AND EMAIL, your Hawaii Representative and Senator and ask them to oppose the 7 bills that could turn Hawaii into America’s only FORCED vaccination state: HB 1946, SB 2393, HB 1910, SB 2316, HB 1945, SB 2394, and HB 1722. (You can customize our sample letter suggestions below for your email).
Find your legislators: Click here and enter your street name: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/members/legislators.aspx?chamber=all or register/login to the NVIC Advocacy Portal at http://NVICAdvocacy.org. Click on “Check What is Happening in Your State” on the home page or “My State” on the STATE TEAMS Tab. Your personal state legislators are listed on the right side of the page. Click on the names of your Delegate and Senator to display his/her contact information.
Prioritize your communication method: In-Person communications are the most effective. Make an appointment to meet with your legislators or their staff in person ASAP. If you can’t meet in person, make a phone appointment right away to discuss with your legislator or their staff assigned to these bills why your family is opposed to them. EVERYONE should be directly visiting or talking to their legislators or staff on the phone. Additionally, everyone needs to send an email voicing their opposition. If this issue is important to your family, please make the time for personal direct communication in addition to emailing. It is far more effective and we will need those personal connections and personal stories to stop a bill like this.
2. Contact Hawaii Governor David Y. Ige and ask him to OPPOSE the 7 bad bills that could turn Hawaii into America’s only FORCED vaccination state: HB 1946, SB 2393, HB 1910, SB 2316, HB 1945, SB 2394, and HB 1722.
Phone: (808) 586-0034
Fax: (808) 586-0006
Email/Communicating with the Governor’s Office:
3. Contact Members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and ask them to OPPOSE SB 2316 in the hearing on 2/2/2016 and OPPOSE SB 2393 and SB 2394 in the hearing on 2/4/2016.
Hawaii: Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health
Rosalyn H. Baker
Michelle N. Kidani
Les Ihara, Jr.
Clarence K. Nishihara
Russell E. Ruderman
4. Contact Members of the Senate Committee on Education and ask them to OPPOSE SB 2316 in the hearing on 2/2/2016.
Hawaii: Senate Education
Michelle N. Kidani
Suzanne Chun Oakland
Donovan M. Dela Cruz
5. Plan on attending the hearing for SB 2316 on Feb. 2, 2016 and offering testimony and offering testimony against the bill. http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/hearingnotices/HEARING_CPH-EDU_02-02-16_.HTM – hearing notice
6. Plan on attending the hearing for SB 2393 and SB 2394 on Feb. 4, 2016 and offering testimony against the bills. http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/hearingnotices/HEARING_CPH_02-04-16_.htm – hearing notice
7. If you are unable to attend the hearings for SB 2316, SB 2393 and SB 2394, you can submit written testimony at least 24 hours ahead of the time of the hearing through the legislative web site for each bill. Click on the bill numbers linked above and select the blue “Submit Testimony” button. For more information, see http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/senate.aspx?testimonypanel=on#panel
8. Login to the NVIC Advocacy Portal often to check for updates. http://NVICAdvocacy.org. Bills can change many times over the legislative process.
9. SHARE! Please forward this email to family and friends and ask them to register for the NVIC Advocacy Portal and share their concerns with their legislators as well. If you are on Facebook, like “National Vaccine Information Center” and find this alert posted there to share with your social network.
10. Please forward any legislative responses you receive or outcomes of meetings on your legislator’s position on the bills to HIDirector@NVICAdvocacy.org.
SAMPLE BODY OF LETTER TO YOUR REPREESNTATIVE, SENATOR, COMMITTEE MEMBERS, and Governor
Pick and choose points to use and what bills you are highlighting for the hearings or letters to committee members, and make sure to add to the first paragraph a personalized reason why this is important to you and your family
[YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS]
Dear [NAME OF YOUR REPRESENTATIVE or SENATOR],
I am writing to you to ask you to oppose 7 bills that combined could turn Hawaii into America’s only FORCED vaccination state: HB 1946, SB 2393, HB 1910, SB 2316, HB 1945, SB 2394, and HB 1722.
HPV VACCINE MANDATES FOR KIDS
I urge you to OPPOSE HB 1910 and SB 2316 which would mandate that all students entering 7th grade in Hawaii receive at least one dose of HPV (human papillomavirus vaccine). These bills would also allow pharmacists to administer HPV Vaccines to children between the ages of 11 and 17 and require all insurance policies to cover 3 visits for HPV Vaccine. SB 2316 is scheduled for a hearing on Feb. 2, 2016 at 9:45 AM in conference room 229. This is a joint committee hearing with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health and the Senate Committee on Education.
· HPV is a sexually transmitted virus and not contagious in a school setting so a school vaccine mandate is unnecessary. The vaccine is already available to anyone who wants it so legislative requirements are not necessary;
· HPV infection is experienced by the majority of sexually active women and men and is naturally cleared from the body within two years by more than 90 percent of those who become infected;
· Merck studied GARDASIL for less than 3 years in about 1200 healthy girls and 1400 healthy boys under age 16; it was not tested in children with health problems or in combination with all the other vaccines routinely given to American adolescents;
· Thousands of reports of unexplained collapse, seizures, muscle pain and weakness; disabling fatigue, paralysis, brain inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, blood clots, multiple sclerosis, strokes, heart and other serious health problems, including death, have been reported after GARDASIL shots;
· CERVARIX was studied for less than 6 years in fewer than 1200 healthy girls under age 15; it was not tested in children with health problems or when given simultaneously with other childhood vaccines;
· Unexplained collapse, muscle and joint pain and weakness; fatigue; brain inflammation, reactive and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, hypothyroidism; multiple sclerosis, optic neuritis, spontaneous abortions, heart and other serious health problems, including death, have been reported after CERVARIX shots;
· It is not known whether GARDASIL or CERVARIX can cause infertility, cancer or damage genes.
REQUIRED VACCINATION FOR ALL
I urge you to OPPOSE HB 1946 and SB 2393 which, by replacing the word “may” with “shall”, would require that the state director of health implement rules for vaccine requirements for the state of Hawaii that codify federal recommendations by the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) within 90 days of the recommendation. These apply to everyone, not just school children. SB 2393 is scheduled for a hearing Feb. 4, 2016 at 9:00 AM in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health in conference room 229.
I urge you to also OPPOSE HB 1722, which would eliminate the religious belief exemption to vaccination for public school students. This bill prohibits a parent from exercising their freedom of conscience that applies to their religious beliefs and obtaining a religious exemption for their child for one or more state required vaccinations.
· There is No Compelling State Interest. There is no public health emergency or compelling state interest that justifies forcing vaccination by violating the right to freedom of conscience and personally held sincere religious beliefs.
o High Vaccination Rates, Low Vaccine Exemption Rates. In the 2013-2014 school year, the CDC reported that an estimated 99% of kindergarten children in Hawaii had received five DTaP shots; 98.7% had received two MMR shots and 99.2% had received two varicella zoster shots, (The CDC excluded Hawaii’s rates in the 2014-2015 report) The CDC also reported only 754 students had religious vaccine exemptions in the whole state, giving Hawaii the distinction of having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country along with low vaccine exemption rates.
o Low Infectious Disease Rates. According to the CDC, in 2014 Hawaii had a pertussis incidence rate of 2.7 per 100,000 persons (38 pertussis cases), one of the lowest in the nation. Also according to the CDC, during the past year, Hawaii has had zero cases of measles reported.
o No Other State Requires Everyone to Be Vaccinated.
o Exemptions Should be Expanded, not Restricted.
· Vaccines Carry a Risk of Harm. Vaccines are pharmaceutical products that carry a risk of injury or death, a fact that was acknowledged by the U.S. Congress in 1986 when it passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. Since 1988, the federal vaccine injury compensation program created under that law has awarded more than $3 billion to children and adults injured by vaccines or to families whose loved ones died from vaccine reactions, although two out of three who apply are denied compensation. The Institute of Medicine in a series of reports on vaccine safety spanning 25 years has acknowledged there is individual susceptibility to vaccine reactions for genetic, biological and environmental reasons that have not been fully defined by science, and doctors often cannot predict ahead of time who will be harmed. Long standing gaps in vaccine safety research and emerging evidence that certain vaccines do not prevent infection or transmission of disease, urgently require legal protection of physician’s rights and parental rights regarding medical and religious exemptions to vaccination for minor children.
· Vaccine Manufacturers Have No Civil Liability. The 1986 law partially shielded drug companies selling vaccines in the U.S. from civil liability and, in 2011, the US Supreme Court completely shielded vaccine manufacturers from liability for FDA licensed and CDC recommended vaccines. There is no product liability or accountability for pharmaceutical companies marketing federally recommended and state mandated vaccines that injure Americans or cause their death, which makes flexible medical and non-medical vaccine exemptions in vaccine policies and laws the only way Americans can protect themselves and their children from vaccine risks and failures.
· Many New Vaccines are Coming. The CDC’s childhood vaccine schedule in 1983 was 23 doses of seven vaccines (DPT, MMR, polio) given before age six, and the cost of vaccinating a child with all federally recommended vaccines was $80 per child in a pediatric private practice. That cost has increased to about $2800 per child in 2015 because the numbers of federally recommended vaccines for children has increased to 69 doses of 16 vaccines between day of birth and age 18. There are several thousand vaccine clinical trials being conducted, including for infectious and non-infectious diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, HIV/AIDS, genital herpes, RSV, strep B, cytomegalovirus, hepatitis C, tuberculosis, e-coli, salmonella, asthma, diabetes, obesity, anti-cocaine and heroin use. Many of these new vaccines in development will be federally recommended for children.
· Hawaii’s Medical Exemptions are Too Strict to Use. The CDC Reports that 0 kindergarten students in Hawaii used a medical exemption in the 2014-2015 school year. Current law §325-34 only allows medical exemptions for 3 months after a duly licensed physician, physician assistant, or an authorized representative of the department of health has signed two copies of a certificate stating the name and address of the person and that because of a stated cause the health of the person would be endangered by the vaccination or immunization. This is too short a period of time for the medical exemption to apply for children with long term health problems or with a history of vaccine reactions. If the religious exemption is removed, this medical exemption is the only exemption that is available for school children. Physicians should not be time restricted by the legislature in exercising their professional judgement about medical exemptions for vaccination.
When there is risk of harm from a pharmaceutical product, especially a product that is marketed by companies completely shielded from civil liability, the parent’s or individual’s right to exercise conscience, religious belief and informed consent on behalf of a minor child or themselves must be legally protected. In light of the fact that vaccine risks are not borne equally by all due to known and unknown individual genetic and other biological or environmental susceptibilities, parental rights, individual informed consent rights, as well as those of a state licensed physician or designated vaccine provider to exercise professional judgment in protecting a child from vaccine injury and death, must be preserved in health policies and laws.
The least restrictive means for ensuring the public health and safety should be employed by the legislature to protect public trust in the wisdom and fairness of government policy and law. There is no public health emergency in Hawaii or compelling state interest that justifies the passage of these bills which would violate human, civil and parental rights.
FLU SHOT MANDATES FOR HEALTH CARE WORKERS
I urge you to also OPPOSE HB 1945 and SB 2394 which would mandate health care workers receive a yearly flu vaccine. “Health care worker” means all persons, whether paid or unpaid, working or delivering services in a health care facility, including contractors and their employees whose occupational activities involve direct or indirect contact with patients or contaminated material in a health care, hospital, or clinical laboratory setting. SB 2394 is scheduled for a hearing Feb. 4, 2016 at 9:00 AM in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health in conference room 229.
· The flu shot is the most compensated vaccine for vaccine injuries and deaths in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
· According to the CDC, the 2014-15 flu shot was only approximately 19% effective.
· Multi-dose influenza vaccines contain thimerosal, a mercury derivative and known neurotoxin.
· Flu shots are invasive medical procedures and can induce a range of symptoms including Guillain-Barre Syndrome and anaphylactic reactions.
· Many labor unions opposed mandatory flu vaccination for health care workers.
· The Cochrane Collaboration concluded, “There is no evidence that only vaccinating healthcare workers prevents laboratory-proven influenza or its complications (lower respiratory tract infection, hospitalisation or death due to lower respiratory tract infection) in individuals aged 60 or over in LTCIs and thus no evidence to mandate compulsory vaccination of healthcare workers”.
· Physicians, in the American Medical Association Code of Ethics, affirm philosophical and religious exemptions for themselves. Employees should not be discriminated against for choosing not to take a flu vaccine.
· Nobody should be forced to have to choose between a flu shot and their job.
NVIC Advocacy Team
National Vaccine Information Center
http://NVIC.org and http://NVICAdvocacy.org
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