Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Open Letter to Oregon Senators about vaccine bill SB442

Dear Senators Bates, Hayward, Anderson, Shields, Knopp, and Kruse

I am a voting citizen of Jackson County,  Or.  I am also a professional,  a father,  and a reasonable person.  I urge you to oppose SB442.  This bill attempts to increase the vaccination rate within the state. However, it will not and can not. Lay aside all the reasons to choose vaccination and to oppose vaccination. That is not what this bill is about. This bill is about increasing the vaccination rate, which can not be accomplished through a simple mandate of removing exemptions.

Here is why this bill will fail to accomplish your goal:

The vast majority of parents that currently do not vaccinate,  have deeply held reasons.  They fall into these categories :

  1. Religious objection:   Some vaccines contain aborted baby cells, or at least the public believes that they do.
  2. Animal cruelty objection:  Some vaccines are produced using animals and contain animal cells, or at least the public believes that they do.
  3. Fear of damage.  This falls into two subcategories :
    1. Fear of vaccine itself : Including fear of preservatives and fear of the action of vaccines on developing immune systems 
    2.  Knowledge of previous damage:  Having seen a child suffer damage, resulting in refusal to vaccinate that child further or vaccinate other children.

This accounts for probably 90 percent of parents within Oregon who do not  currently vaccinate.  Only a tiny minority choose not to for insignificant reasons and practically no one "just forgets"  today.  The choice to not vaccinate is a tough one,  which in itself brings ridicule,  name calling,  isolation,  and constant pressure from friends and family  as well as the medical community. It is not a decision made lightly, nor in ignorance.  The non vaccinating parent has already struggled with this decision and the consequences...  And still chose the tough path. 

Removing the right to choose that path by removing personal exemptions will not make parents follow the vaccination schedule, it will only push that parent further from society.  They will chose home schooling,  they will remove children from organized activities and day care,  and will eventually leave the state  before subjecting their children to such a deep violation of their own beliefs.

This bill,  should it pass into law,  will divide oregon,  further empty schools,  and drive families out of state.  

If  you truly wish to raise vaccination rates,  mandates such as SB 442 are not the way. You will not succeed in changing the minds of these parents who are already being bullied daily and still stand firm. These parents would rather face consequences of jail than submit their own children to what they know in their hearts to be detrimental. Instead you must remove the source of the objection. 

Here is how :
  1. Remove aborted baby cells and animal cells from vaccines in the state. By law demand that substances deemed religiously objectionable or believed to possibly cause harm (such as preservatives) not be used in vaccines within Oregon. 
  2. Force by law manufacturers to produce some conclusive evidence of vaccine effectiveness , by a third party. Before a government entity can mandate the use of a product, especially a health product, the manufacturer has the burden of proof to prove effectiveness for the purpose, and to be believable this must be performed, not just reviewed, by a third party who is trusted. 
  3. Force by law  manufacturers to prove beyond a shadow of doubt, that vaccines are safe for general children, children who previously suffered reactions, and siblings of children that suffered reactions.  This also must be tests performed by a third party, one trusted by the population to be independent. Allow a panel of parents who has suffered suspected but unrecognized vaccine damage to sit on the panel reviewing the results before acceptance.  These are the people you wish to reach, so give them the responsibility and authority to make a decision first hand in the face of solid evidence. 

There is no alternative. The parents who are not vaccinating today will not begin to vaccinate due to a state mandate. You must instead use the power of the state to remove the source of their fear. Listen to the intensity of the testimony given for this bill thus far. Not the facts, but the intensity. a state mandate will not soften this intensity, but will increase it.

I urge you to consider putting the burden on the manufacturer to convince the parents of safety,  instead of attempting to mandate the parents to violate their deepest and strongest convictions.

Thank you
David Salch
White City, Or

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