Oppose Mandatory Vaccinations

TITLE: GRP will oppose mandatory vaccinations

SPONSORS: David Rolde & Jed Stamas. Additional co-sponsors welcome

CO-SPONSORS: Joshua Gerloff

VETTING COMMITTEE: GRP Legislative Committee

FLOOR MONITOR & SHEPHERD: David Rolde. Additional help welcome

SUMMARY: Green-Rainbow Party should oppose all laws that call for mandatory vaccinations, forced vaccinations, vaccinations without the patient's consent, and vaccinations of children without consent or knowledge of the parents or guardian. Green-Rainbow Party should oppose all laws that deny people a right to attend school or work at their job based on not being vaccinated.

BACKGROUND: Many people are concerned about negative health effects of vaccines, and about laws that force people to get vaccinated or to have their children vaccinated. There are currently bills before the Massachusetts house of representatives (H.4096) and Massachusetts Senate (S.2359) that would remove the religious exemption for vaccinations for children attending school and that would generally make it more difficult for people to refuse vaccinations. The Steering Committee of the Maine Green Independent Party, in February 2019, adopted a resolution: "In some cases vaccines have prevented deaths or serious diseases. In other cases documentation exists of fatal or lifetime debilitating injuries to people, especially infants. Accordingly, we oppose any law mandating vaccines, which fail to take into account either sovereignty over our own bodies or important medical variations including allergic reactions." See https://mainegreens.org/news/press-releases/168-green-independent-and-libertarian-parties-release-joint-statement? It is time for GRP to take a position opposing coerced vaccination.

TEXT OF PROPOSAL: Whereas vaccines can produce serious negative health effects and disabilities, Whereas vaccines can cause the disease they are supposed to prevent, Whereas some vaccines are tainted or contaminated with toxic or carcinogenic substances, Whereas vaccines are generally not tested for safety with double blind studies or to rigorous standards required for testing other pharmaceuticals, Whereas the risk of injury from some vaccines is greater than the risk of contracting and being injured by the disease that the vaccine was created to prevent, Whereas flu vaccines are sometimes ineffective for the current endemic strain, yet still can cause negative health effects, Whereas the MMR vaccine is not available as three separate vaccines that would lesson risk of injury if injected separately Whereas executives from big pharma mega-corporations such as Merck which produce vaccines have "revolving door" careers as government officials in regulatory agencies such as the Center for Disease control Whereas U.S. federal law grants legal immunity to vaccine makers (pharmaceutical companies), and vaccine makers cannot be held legally or financially liable for injuries caused by administering the vaccines they produce Whereas the Green-Rainbow Party believes that human beings have a right to bodily autonomy and to choose their own medical care, The Green Rainbow Party hereby shall stand in opposition to all laws and bills and referenda that call for mandatory vaccinations, forced vaccinations, vaccinations without the patient's consent, and vaccinations of children without consent or knowledge of the parents or guardian. The Green-Rainbow Party shall stand in opposition to all laws and bills and referenda that deny people a right to attend school or work at their job based on not being vaccinated, or that otherwise serve to coerce people to accept vaccinations that they don't want. And the Green-Rainbow Party shall support bills and referenda that would strengthen people's rights to choose which vaccines they accept or reject to be administered on themselves and their children. The Green-Rainbow Party will implement this proposal as described in the subsequent IMPLEMENTATION section

IMPLEMENTATION: GRP Communication Committee and/or Adcom will publicize GRP's position against mandatory vaccinations as detailed in the TEXT OF PROPOSAL section. This shall be done within two weeks of adoption of this proposal by GRP State Committee. The GRP Legislative Committee will research state laws and bills and advise GRP on which state laws and bills pertinent to vaccination should be opposed or supported to be in compliance with GRP's position opposing mandatory vaccination. In the future, as GRP Legislative Committee's functionality increases, Legislative Committee will also 1. research federal laws and bills pertinent to vaccination, and 2. consider writing our own proposed legislation or referendums in opposition to mandatory vaccination. When GRP Platform Committee reconvenes and becomes active, Platform Committee will incorporate GRP's opposition to mandatory vaccination into the GRP Party Agenda and/or future GRP platform documents. GRP representatives to GPUS Committees will be instructed to advocate for GRP's political position in opposition to mandatory vaccination at the GPUS level.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS: Minor

REFERENCES AND ATTACHMENTS: Forthcoming. To be added.


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  • Joshua Gerloff
    commented 2020-01-07 11:54:41 -0500
    From Lucy Silva Andrews (a pediatrician).

    The importance of having an information based decision on vaccines saves lives.

    Vaccines are one of the most important tools in preventive medicine since 1797 when E. Jenner developed the first vaccine for smallpox. Since then, modern society together with technology have implemented policies and schedules to prevent infectious diseases. The vaccination schedule is considered one of the 10 most important health preventive medicine strategies in modern times. All of these aspects are based on scientific data and large investigations to reduce mortality and morbidity rates. Since vaccines contribute to the preservation of the public health, the state and local governments are primarily responsible for creating the policies to protect the population. Current law, in order to prevent outbreaks and the spread of infectious diseases among populations, has determined that schools and child care centers should only enroll kids with documentation of immunization in accordance with the schedule or documentation of an exemption approval letter.

    Exemptions can be medical or religious. Also schools are required to inform parents of the risk rate of the school based on the vaccination rate. Kids will consent and parents will be informed. When a parent refuses vaccination, the primary care pediatrician and a group of experts get involved in the case to inform families about the advantages and the disadvantages of having a healthy/sick baby. The policies are placed to promote healthy discussions to prevent diseases.

    If a parent chooses not to vaccinate a kid, there are personal and social risks and responsibilities. That decision does not only affect directly the kid, but the family and community by contributing to a rise in outbreaks. These outbreaks may increase the risk of death or illness to vulnerable populations like babies under 6 months and elders. It is not true that the current vaccines included in the schedule have a greater risk than the disease. You can easily access official statistics and scientifically trusted sources to learn more and have accurate information about the side effects.

    Vaccinations have reduced the complex baggage of infectious diseases (including the economical, sociological and psychological). There are studies that have evaluated the economic impact of the Immunization Program in the United States. Dr Zhou concludes: “Analyses showed that routine childhood immunization among members of the 2009 US birth cohort will prevent ∼42 000 early deaths and 20 million cases of disease, with net savings of $13.5 billion in direct costs and $68.8 billion in total societal costs, respectively.”(Zhou Fangjun, 2009). This study does not include the savings from family expenses that an ill baby could cost. In fact, for every $1 dollar spent on vaccines provides 3 times more in direct benefits and it can go up to $44 when you take into account the broader economic impact of illness. On the other hand, we can compare the expenses that illness will cause to the family and society. As an example to this: “The estimated total number of personnel hours for the 16 outbreaks ranged from 42,635 to 83,133 and the corresponding total estimated costs for the public response accrued to local and state public health departments ranged from $2.7 million to $5.3 million US dollars.”(Ortega-Sanchez IR, 2011) This amount increases when you add the cost of follow up visits at outpatient clinics for the patient, and the visits to outpatient clinics for all the contacts who may have been exposed. This can be estimated from $3,000 to $50,000 per case.

    According to the official report, vaccines have saved 10.3 million lives worldwide, around 200 million virus cases were averted and 450,000 lives saved in the United States. The anti-vaccination movement has taken a dangerous step, putting at risk public health, especially children.

    Vaccines have demonstrated to be cost-effective, and the most important part: have demonstrated that they are an invaluable tool to save lives. Opposition to such obvious benefit can be the same as dropping bombs on your neighbors.
  • Michael Pascucci
    commented 2020-01-03 20:10:38 -0500
    I am dismayed at this proposal. One of the biggest (unfounded) criticisms of Jill Stein in 2016 from the “mainstream” was that she was supposedly anti-vax. It wasn’t true, and she repeatedly clarified that she was not part of the anti-science conspiracy theorists who are dangerously opposed to vaccines. But even the appearance of being anti-vax was enough for many otherwise intelligent people to dismiss her and the Green Party as anti-science “quacks.” This proposal would make it a reality.

    There are plenty of differences with what Jill said in 2016 and this proposal. Jill was simply pointing out that there are already legitimate medical exemptions for vaccines. There are people with compromised immune systems who cannot be exposed to the vaccines. These exemptions are not given, nor should they be given, simply because the patient doesn’t want a vaccine (probably because they falsely believe it will cause them to get the disease… or, ya know, maybe autism – even though that’s been debunked). It is exactly because of these medical exemptions that vaccines for everyone else must be mandatory. It’s herd immunity.

    My nephew has been a patient at Boston Children’s Hospital for the past 8 years (since he was 2 years old) with a rare genetic lung disease. While he is medically cleared to receive vaccines, they just don’t work for his immune system. That means he effectively cannot be vaccinated. As a result, everyone he is around must be vaccinated or else he could catch something (like the flu) that would be fatal for him. Someone might be skeptical of the flu shot because “it might not work,” and the worst that could happen to them is that they’ll get sick for a week anyway… but if my nephew catches it from that person, he could die.

    My nephew’s mother and grandmother are also both nurses, and they are well aware of the need for mandatory vaccines for everyone medically able to receive them.

    It’s dangerous that this is being proposed in the basis that “many people are concerned about negative health effects of vaccines, and about laws that force people to get vaccinated or to have their children vaccinated.” We shouldn’t be basing our platform on what supposedly “many people” think. We should be basing it on facts and science. There are “many people” who believe Global Warming isn’t real, but we shouldn’t be going against science to cater to them either.

    It’s also concerning that this proposal seeks to carve out “religious” exemptions. Are we really a party that values “religious freedom” over science? And what religions actually ban vaccines? Maybe Christian Scientists who believe the only medicine that works is prayer? Otherwise, isn’t “religious exemption” just code for “personal belief”? What’s to stop anyone who has been influenced by anti-science rhetoric from simply claiming “it’s against my religion”?

    This proposal is at best anti-science, and at worst dangerous and potentially fatal. If this proposal passes, I would seriously have to consider whether I could continue identifying as GRP.
  • Michael Pascucci
    tagged this with Bad 2020-01-03 20:10:38 -0500
  • Joshua Gerloff
    commented 2020-01-03 13:47:35 -0500
    From Bonnie Caracciolo:

    Brian: I certainly appreciate your observations here. Doesn’t blocking unvaccinated children essentially act as a mandate to vaccinate? We are getting lost in verbiage.

    Jordan: Thanks Jordan. First of all I don’t feel insults promote honest discussions about matters that are important to all of us. Science, like any other discipline, is not infallible. When science is politicized as in the vaccination controversy and climate change, for example, often lines are drawn. Why can’t this be discussed without anger?

    Did I miss some YouTube videos in this discussion?

    Bonnie J Caracciolo
  • Jordan Stewart
    commented 2020-01-02 18:23:49 -0500
    This, quite frankly, is asinine and a reason that our party is not taken seriously. The scientific illiteracy behind proposals like this are part of the reason I have been humiliated for being Green, for which I have to assure people I have a functioning brain in my skull and am aware that science is fact and not a conspiracy.

    Public schools and certain jobs should 100% require certain vaccinations, and it is dangerous to be peddling misinformation about vaccines that are based in “self-research” on YouTube and obscure websites of fake medical information. A religious belief is not a reason to put entire populations at risk.

    I whole-heartedly disagree with the spirit of this proposal, as it is misleading in nature and has potentially deadly consequences.
  • Jordan Stewart
    tagged this with Impractical 2020-01-02 18:23:48 -0500
  • Jordan Stewart
    tagged this with Bad 2020-01-02 18:23:48 -0500
  • Brian Cady
    commented 2020-01-02 10:11:25 -0500
    I would not support state-mandates of vaccination of anyone, including children, except children in state care. But this is not about that, it seems to me. It is about ensuring that, if children go to school, they have recommended vaccinations. In other words, it doesn’t mandate vaccinations, it only blocks unvaccinated children from school. Blocking unvaccinated children from school generally makes sense because vaccinations generally make sense, and because school is a disease risk, as is any extended physical gathering of people. People are free, under these laws, to not have their children in school, which, if the children are unvaccinated, would be wise for those children’s sake.
  • Bonnie Caracciolo
    commented 2019-12-31 02:10:36 -0500 · Flag
    None of us is experienced enough to condemn or promote the use of early vaccines in children, first of all. However, there is a long, long documented history of conditions associated with the use of early vaccines on children including what was once referred to as SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome which has now been defined as a significant negative reaction to early, massive doses of vaccines. Either way- there is enough suspicion and concern that many parents and individuals should have the right to refuse their use; whether for religious reasons or otherwise.
    As far as measles. Come on! All the kids in my elementary school had them and survived without vaccinations. Having measles was a right of passage as was mumps, chicken pox and a number of others.
    Here is some food for thought:
    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/child-health-topics/health-freedom/vaccine-mandates-for-everyone-everywhere-a-globally-coordinated-agenda/
    Bonnie J Caracciolo
  • Bonnie Caracciolo
    tagged this with Bad 2019-12-31 02:10:35 -0500
  • Charlene Dicalogero
    commented 2019-12-29 23:05:05 -0500
    The Green Party of the US supports vaccination, including for our most current health crises such as HIV. The proposers cite no scientific evidence that mandatory vaccinations pose a greater health risk than the diseases that they prevent. For example, polio killed over 3,000 and paralyzed thousands more in a single year in the U.S.: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2012/10/16/162670836/wiping-out-polio-how-the-u-s-snuffed-out-a-killer Meanwhile, there were still a few polio survivors who used iron lungs as of 2018 (this survivor caught polio in 1956): https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=y6ezbEW9QZ4 Polio vaccines were introduced in 1955, and 25 years later, polio was eliminated in the U.S. It is now rare in the entire world, due to effective vaccinations widely administered. The people who are proposing this have likely themselves benefited from polio and other vaccines, as I have. It is critical to remember that poor people, including indigenous, Black and Brown people, and people with inadequate health care are likely the first people who will sicken and die from such misguided policy. Let’s support the overwhelming scientific evidence and not take up this dangerous proposal.
  • Charlene Dicalogero
    tagged this with Bad 2019-12-29 23:05:04 -0500
  • David Spanagel
    commented 2019-12-25 09:38:55 -0500
    On December 14, 2019, while two active members of the Central Massachusetts Green Rainbow chapter were attending a special meeting of the State committee in Worcester, the two Co-Chairs and one other member of the regional chapter met in Westminster. Despite the lack of a quorum, these three took that opportunity to examine and discuss the Winter 2020 StateCom proposals. On behalf of Karen Sargent and Mark Laserte, David Spanagel here reports the views that were expressed about each proposal. [Please note, we do not express these as positions adopted by our entire chapter, but only offer them as the views of three individual members who have all been active in various leadership roles in the chapter for about 15 years.]

    All three of us do not support the Motion to Oppose Mandatory Vaccinations as written. While some legitimate concerns about some vaccines may indeed deserve scrutiny, the Motion seems to fundamentally discard the entire concept of herd immunity, upon which so much of humanity’s success in controlling epidemic infectious diseases has been achieved. If it were to approve a statement as simplistic as this one, the Green-Rainbow Party would put itself in a category with the climate science deniers and others who willfully promote public policies that prey on fear and ignorance alone, in the absence of any measured approach to understanding how it is sometimes wisest to require a balance between individual acceptance of risks to ensure widespread community benefits.
  • David Spanagel
    tagged this with Bad 2019-12-25 09:38:54 -0500
  • Joshua Gerloff
    tagged this with Important 2019-12-16 22:47:37 -0500
  • Joshua Gerloff
    tagged this with Good 2019-12-16 22:47:35 -0500
  • Bonnie J Caracciolo
    followed this page 2019-12-16 22:42:26 -0500
  • Bea Reardon
    followed this page 2019-12-16 22:42:02 -0500
  • Joshua Gerloff
    commented 2019-12-16 22:41:25 -0500
    From North Shore Chapter member, Bea Reardon:

    Tags it GOOD and IMPORTANT

    I would suggest the proposal specifically state that no one with a sincerely held religious belief should be denied an exemption from any vaccine mandate, in the absence of an emergency or epidemic of disease.

    Currently the MA law states: “In the absence of an emergency or epidemic of disease declared by the department of public health, no child whose parent or guardian states in writing that vaccination or immunization conflicts with his sincere religious beliefs shall be required to present said physician’s certificate in order to be admitted to school.”

    Medical Freedom advocates support the exemption remaining. The GRP could support this continued exemption. It would mean that public school attendance could not be denied on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs. Medical exemptions are harder to document and need physician corroboration, so for most parents this is not an option even if they want to take the stand that the risk to their child is greater than the possible benefit.

    The GRP could also formulate a pro family choice stance in opposing intrusive laws which will allow school officials to make decisions about minor children’s healthcare without parental permission or knowledge and without required consultation with the physician responsible for the child’s medical care, and while holding the schools harmless for any injury that may result.

    This is an issue that will be before us as adult mandates including ability to work, get a driver’s license and travel will be pushed by big Pharma. Please educate yourselves about the risks you might have to face if adult mandates affect you in the coming years.

    I agree with all the medical concerns stated, but if the science and medicine/health policy issues are not something GRP can agree upon, we can focus on the rights of citizens “in the absence of an emergency or an epidemic”.

    In addition, having GRP accused of being anti-vaccine is not a reason to avoid taking a stand. Anything the GRP says will likely have a negative response from media and politicians. Its our work to be willing to support any stance that has a well reasoned argument that allies with Green Party values (in this case our key value of non violence would lead us to support no mandated vaccinations which are a bodily violence against those who maintain a sincerely held religious belief, something akin to forcing those of the Muslim or Jewish faiths to eat pork AND our key value of ecological wisdom would lead us to support the human body’s complex immune system, just as we “practice agriculture that replenishes the soil”).

    These bills are before us NOW and the need to support these efforts to defeat them are very important at this time.

    Many citizens in MA are intensely mobilized on this issue. 600 showed up at the recent show hearing at the State House. These are people who know the Democrat Party, across the nation, is spearheading these efforts. This is an opportunity for positive outreach to a disaffected group.

    I am not aware that GRP is getting much media attention, but even if we got portrayed “badly” we couldn’t shy away from supporting these rights of choice in medical interventions. Would we have shied away from supporting women’s right to choose abortion?

    If anyone here is concerned about our responsibility to others, please do the research about live vaccine shedding and outbreaks of infectious childhood disease in highly vaccinated populations from vaccine failure, waning immunity, and unvaccinated adults working with children. My unvaccinated child had at least as much risk in associating with vaccinated children as they had from contact with her.

    Big Pharma has hidden behind the immunity from liability that they have had since the 1986 establishment of the government and taxpayer funded Nation Vaccine Court. As a result there is no FDA approval process for vaccines which are fast tracked with no placebo tested safety studies. Public health decisions should be based on science, not greater profits for the Pharmaceutical companies.

    These families need our support now. I hope each of you will voice your opposition to these draconian proposals before the legislatures as well as consider ways in which GRP can take an ongoing stand against mandated vaccinations.
  • Joshua Gerloff
    followed this page 2019-12-16 22:40:26 -0500
  • Joyce Palmer-Fortune
    commented 2019-12-15 17:08:34 -0500
    I don’t think this proposal is something we as a party should get behind. Several reasons:
    1) This is serious public health policy, and we are not qualified to make an informed decision in a forum like state committee.
    2) If passed, it will be interpreted as being anti vaccine (even if it’s technically not) and every candidate we run from now on would be asked about why the green party is anti-vaccine. (Learn from Jill’s experience…)
    3) It distracts from all of the other things we need to do and
    4) it plays into the hands of those who want to portray us badly in the media.
  • Joyce Palmer-Fortune
    tagged this with Bad 2019-12-15 17:08:33 -0500
  • Nathanael Fortune
    commented 2019-12-11 20:21:38 -0500
    HAve we all become libertarians now? Do we neither a concept of nor concern for public health? Do we bear no responsibility to each other?
  • Nathanael Fortune
    tagged this with Bad 2019-12-11 20:21:37 -0500
  • Elie Yarden
    commented 2019-12-09 09:06:12 -0500
    The level of specificity, the absence of ecological considerations, the circular and conventional peeve, and the failure to consider the possibility of circumstances wherein the common good might require individual concessions mark the proposal as extraordinary stupid (tt), It certainly does not fit the political agenda of the party. This has absolutely nothing to do with the motives of people who might be against vaccination or other possible human interferences or interventions in the natural order. Or the survival of the fittest, Meanwhile, see if we can find another place to tether hobby horses. Note that there is nothing in the political agenda that prevents any G-RP candidate from advocating resistance to state interference with individual rights, Or from taking stands on defective bills before the House.
  • David Rolde
    published this page in Winter 2020 Statecom Proposals 2019-12-08 01:05:43 -0500