Editorial – Freedom of Choice Versus Vaccinations
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD
Our story begins with three men, heads together on a street corner, one wealthy and dripping with power, the next puffed chest, ingratiating smile and impotent and the last an obvious thug, muscle for hire. Down the walk enters a woman who looks at the world through rose-colored glasses, all is right, nary a problem. The thug steps away from his companions and escorts her away. She laughs and smiles as he tells her he will keep her safe and he knows best; All the while looking back over his shoulder to the other men, who nod in agreement. The thug takes her home and hands her a drink; she accepts is and drinks it without a word of concern. She is found dead the next day; it is deemed natural causes — a tragedy.
While this could be from a western novel, it more closely resembles a gritty Clint Eastwood seen; our actors are the Pharmaceutical manufactures (wealth), The Politics of the land (the impotent), the state service programs (the Thug) and Rosy Vision (our rights). The Poison for many comes not in a glass but a syringe filled with vaccines.
Real life: There is tremendous controversy over childhood vaccinations, once again legislation is about to be forced on parents in Oregon and Washington that strips vaccination exemption. Exclusion laws already exist in Oregon if an outbreak occurs, so why do we need a draconian law, that can lead to a loss of revenue for schools? It is estimated that 31,000 children in Oregon have exemptions if they are removed from the school systems; it could equal a loss of $412,920,000.00 annually. All of this has resurfaced from a similar bill in 2015 due to a measles outbreak predominately in Washington state.
Over the years, I have gotten hepatitis and tetanus shots before overseas travel. The difference here is, I am an adult, I am capable of determining if the risks outweighed the benefits. After our son made it through his first years of public school and it was time for booster shots, we as his parents evaluated the risks after many hours researching and praying we had a waiver signed for the school district. Keep in mind the number of vaccinations in the 1990s was considerably less than the number my grandson will be receiving this year.
The story will be very different in Oregon if House Bill 3063 and those that follow it – restrict/hinder parental choice over immunization. Not many people are willing to do a face off with a healthcare practitioner over cholesterol medication let alone a vaccine series for a child. Oregon’s bill would eliminate religious and personal or philosophical exemptions for all vaccines, a move intended to boost the state’s vaccination rate.
Lawmakers who support the bill say parents can still choose not to vaccinate — however; they will have to homeschool or find ways for children to go to school online. Isn’t this discrimination? What about low-income families who have a family history of autism or ADHD? If we make legal allowances for everyone else with a “special need” why are those not willing to vaccinate any different? Are they really a threat to public safety as stated by politicians? Whenever we cite science, we need to be sure of who paid for the science – and who is getting paid for citing it. How did we ever survive these normal and natural childhood illnesses before?
The cyclical outbreak of measles in the Pacific Northwest has prompted hundreds of additional residents to vaccinate this year over past years. I would like to point out it was a free choice, not a mandate.
School and state workers will and do believe they are working to protect children; Many families will choose vaccination because they believe in the system – which is their right. For others, they will make their choices based on beliefs, research, and medical history – which up until now has been their right. Ohh and just because you do not believe the science cited does not mean it is fake – it just means it is not following the politically correct party line.
“This is the first time I’ve ever seen a bill that endorses vaccine instead of education,” said Rep. Dennis Linthicum, R-Klamath Falls, as he testified against the bill.”
Is this just a state issue? As I write this article, I have learned of a federal move to restrict medical freedom. “If states don’t tighten vaccine exemption laws, the federal government may step in, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said February 21, 2019”.
“Some states are engaging in such wide exemptions that they’re creating the opportunity for outbreaks on a scale that is going to have national implications,” the FDA head said in an interview with CNN.”
Lets put this in perspective; According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website:
In 2018, 372 cases of measles were reported in the U.S.. From Jan. 1 to Feb. 14, 2019, 127 cases of measles have been confirmed in 10 states.
Each year in the United States, about 1 million people have to seek care in a hospital due to pneumonia. The CDC says about 50,000 people die from the disease each year in the United States. Most of the people affected by pneumonia in the United States are adults.
I believe families should have the right to choose; I am not an anti-vaccinator anymore than I am a pro-vaccinator. My issue is about a local or federal government who takes money from pharmaceutical companies, mandating medical decisions. That is a conflict of interest and collusion.
To Freedom of Choice.