A group of Seattle Doctors is going against the trend of our nation, which in recent years has shown a rise in legislation to limit or eliminate vaccine opt-outs. The caveat? They want opt-outs available for all but the measles vaccine. These Doctors want to allow personal and religious opt-outs for all other vaccines. It is being called Childhood Vaccine Exemption Policy: The Case for a Less Restrictive Alternative. Yesterday, it was published in the journal Pediatrics (source). Seattle sits just north of one of the most restrictive states in the country when it comes to vaccine legislation in California. This new approach runs extremely counter to Seattle’s southern neighbors.

Seattle Children’s expert Dr. Douglas Opel and his colleagues who are responsible for the proposal claim the current status quo for legislation infringes on personal liberty and most of all, just doesn’t work. According to the Seattle Times, this is about creating a sustainable policy. Opel feels Measles is the only real problematic issue when it comes to being a contagion, which leads him to the hypothesis that the current legislations, particularly in California, just don’t work.

“We’re realizing that it’s not a scientific and ethical approach,” said Opel, who specializes in pediatrics and bioethics. “This is less about letting parents choose than about developing sound, sustainable policy.”

The current program, according to Opel, should focus on the easiest transferable vaccine-preventable pathogen, which he says is measles. He feels pertussis simply isn’t as contagious by comparison. We, of course, have uncovered a bevy of cases showing that the pertussis vaccine causes the spread of pertussis.

According to the Seattle Times, it comes down to logistics of what can logically be enforced.

“We believe a policy to eliminate nonmedical exemptions (NMEs) from measles virus alone is more justifiable, sustainable and enforceable than eliminating NMEs from all vaccines,” Opel and his colleagues wrote.

This, of course,

isn’t a time for celebration. Forcing even one vaccine on the public and our children is unacceptable. But what I do enjoy is the idea that a group of Doctors is essentially dismissing a great portion of vaccines. In essence, they are saying illnesses such as pertussis just aren’t the dire situation they are often portrayed to be for the sake of mandatory vaccine legislation. In the end, this group’s proposal is terrible for pharmaceutical companies, which is something I can definitely get behind.

The American Academy of Pediatrics was immediately upset by the information. They claim that this trivializes all other vaccines which they pretend to be essential to public health.

The dark side in this proposal, of course, is delivered emphatically by a father whose daughter died from a vaccine injury.

And the plan wasn’t popular with vaccine critics, either. Michael Belkin, a Seattle-area father whose infant daughter died in 1998 after receiving recommended shots, said the new proposal is more restrictive than current vaccine requirements.

“It would strip parents of their right of informed consent — and it will face a concerted grass-roots opposition by parents who read the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-required vaccine package insert and see that the authors’ claim that the measles vaccine is safe is patently false.”

We aren’t winning in either case, clearly. Measles has led to very few deaths in comparison to vaccine injuries. We’d never support mandating it even to sacrifice or cull out other vaccines. But this offers leverage in the future because it shows Doctors stating that most vaccines are simply not necessary. That’s the play here.
Photo by Ikusuki

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