Proposal calls for parents to watch online video before opting child out of immunizations

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SALT LAKE CITY – If you opt your child out of school required immunizations, you have to sign an exemption form. Now, a Utah lawmaker wants parents to acknowledge some of the risks behind that decision and is proposing they watch an online educational video as well.

Beth Luthy’s son could not get vaccinated because he had a liver disorder.

“He didn't have much of an immune system left," Luthy said.

She relied on those who could get vaccinated to protect him, a principle known as herd immunity.

“Unfortunately, there was not a healthy herd immunity in our community,” Luthy said. “He caught rotavirus, and we almost lost him. He caught RSV, and we almost lost him. He caught whooping-cough, and we almost lost him. And he caught chicken pox, and we almost lost him.”

With more and more parents opting out of immunizations, the Utah Department of Health says we’re losing herd immunity, which could lead to outbreaks.

“We have 50,000 births, they cannot receive the MMR because they're not of age yet, and those kids could be at risk,” said Rich Lakin, immunization manager at the Utah Department of Health.

Current state law requires only a parent’s signature to claim a personal, medical or religious exemption from a vaccination. Representative Carol Spackman Moss is proposing a bill that would require parents who opt out for personal reasons to view an online educational video every year.

“It will not be to try and force parents to immunize their children,” said Representative Spackman Moss.

Moss will work with Lacey Eden, a nurse practitioner, to produce a 20-minute online video for parents.

“What we want to do is make sure they're reminded about the signs and symptoms of communicable diseases, how to protect their child if there is a disease outbreak, and how to limit spread of infection," she said.

With more education, Beth hopes parents will think twice.

“It's kind of the village raises the child sort of a thing, where we're all trying to protect and take care of each other’s children," she said.

A house committee will decide whether or not to advance this bill at a hearing on Tuesday, February 16th.

11 comments

  • bob

    When you don’t vaccinate your kids you are not only endangering them, you’re also endangering others. YOU DO NOT HAVE THAT RIGHT.

    Myth #1: “Vaccines cause Autism” Fact: The link with Autism was a deliberate fraud perpetrated by a crooked British doctor, who was in cahoots with a law firm. They were inventing a reason to sue pharmaceutical companies. Only in America do people still believe this hoax. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield The guy should be hanged for what he did to children, but at this point only ignorant mouth-breathers still believe that ridiculous hoax. You have nobody to blame but yourself now.

    Myth #2: “Vaccines contain mercury.” Fact: Your child’s entire lifetime series of vaccines contains less mercury than a single tuna sandwich. Mercury is a naturally occurring element, and is present in trace quantities EVERYWHERE. Everything you eat or drink has mercury it it. Vaccines used to contain more mercury, though it was still in quantities too small to be meaningful, but those days are gone. YOUR CHILD WILL NOT GET MERCURY POISONING.

    It IS possible for your child to have a serious reaction to vaccines. In extremely rare cases they can even die. It is FAR more likely that they’ll die or be seriously injured by the diseases the vaccines prevent. Visit any 19th Century cemetery and look at the ages on the gravestones.

    Life is all about playing the odds, and avoiding vaccines is a pretty stupid play.

    • vforba

      I am sorry but you don’t have a right to endanger my child with your vaccinations. A friend of ours had a child that stopped speaking after getting vaxxed for cp. We had another friend whose child got cp from their own sibling after vaccination. If I don’t want them. than that is ok. We haven’t vaccinated for smallpox since the 70’s and have seen no reoccurance. Yet we still vaccinate for all these other diseases and keep have outbreaks. And no it’s not because of the unvaccinated. These vaccines shed. They can also kill.

    • RichCoulter

      Myth #1: Far more likely that they’ll die?
      Fact #1: Over 100,000 reported cases of measles in England/Wales in the past 20 years, not one single death in the 0-9 year age group.

      Myth #2: The tuna sandwich sleight of hand
      Fact #2: The ethyl mercury contained in over 40% of the vaccines you will receive by the time you’re 18 if you follow the CDC’s recommended schedule, doesn’t behave in the body the same was as methyl mercury found in fish. Let’s put aside for a second the simple fact that we don’t inject tuna sandwiches intramuscularly or subcutaneously, bypassing the body’s normal methods of encountering toxicants and diseases, studies have shown that more ethyl mercury ends up in the brain where it is de-ethylated into inorganic mercury, the far more deadly form with a half life measured in years, not days. Therefore “MeHg is not a suitable reference for risk assessment from exposure to thimerosal-derived Hg. Knowledge of the toxicokinetics and developmental toxicity of thimerosal is needed to afford a meaningful assessment of the developmental effects of thimerosal-containing vaccines.” (PMID 16079072)

      Myth #3: “The link with Autism was a deliberate fraud perpetrated by a crooked British doctor, who was in cahoots with a law firm”
      Fact #3: Wakefield’s paper never claimed a link with autism, it specifically stated the paper did NOT confirm a link and that due to the study size, further investigation was warranted. In the original 1998 press conference Wakefield recommended continuing to vaccinate and for those who were concerned about the safety of MMR they should choose the monovalent option still on the schedule. Several months later GlaxoSmithKline told the NHS they wanted the option removed from the schedule and the NHS complied. So who was responsible for the downtick in measles coverage rates? Wakefield, or the NHS/GSK?

      Myth #4: When you don’t vaccinate your kids you are not only endangering them, you’re also endangering others
      Fact #4: The Black family took their normal infant for vaccinations which resulted in an encephalopathy (in accordance with the government’s vaccine injury table) causing permanent brain damage – http://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/health-family/article11620775.html

      Fact #5: The article doesn’t define “almost died” – caught ALL those diseases, amazing, didn’t die from any of them, I guess even in the immunocompromised those diseases are usually benign too.

      Fact #6: No study has ever compared rates of ASDs between fully vaccinated and never vaccinated individuals.

      Fact #7: No study has ever compared overall health outcomes between those same two groups, identifying the fully vaccinated as AT LEAST as healthy overall as their never vaccinated counterparts.

      Fact #8: Pertussis vaccine doesn’t contribute to herd immunity, it does not prevent transmission.

    • RichCoulter

      Myth #1: When you don’t vaccinate your kids you are not only endangering them, you’re also endangering others
      Fact #1: Hospitals contain warnings in their visitors guidebook to keep those recently vaccinated, particularly those recently receiving live virus vaccines, away from those with weakened immune systems. Why is that? Why hasn’t the parent in the article been informed of this? Her child has had SEVERAL diseases that we vaccinated against, and she thinks it’s because of the unvaccinated?

  • Finny Wiggen

    I think that parents who don’t vaccinate their kids are foolish, and lacking in common sense. However, you don’t get to force people to watch propaganda videos, just because they choose to do something really really stupid.

    Do we believe in freedom or don’t we? If we as a society believe in personal freedom, then we have to accept that people have a right to be fools. Even in the face of a larger public health issue. To the woman in this news story who “almost lost her son.” I think that is tragic. I really do.

    However, your son’s needs, to not supersede the freedoms of others. Let’s solve this problem with education, rather than at the end of a gun.

  • Nobody

    You should have the choice to not vaccinate your kids, but public schools should have the choice to keep your kids out.

  • Tamms

    If the video is just instructional like this says, then I suggest all parents watch it or a separate video to parents of vaccinated children since they can be asymptomatic and spread viruses, also. They actually probably need more education in recognizing the sign of illness and how to keep from spreading it since their symptoms are less severe/noticable. Also, some vaccines are live virus vaccines that can spread from the patient for weeks after injection. More education about how long to keep you child home from school and out of the grocery store is important info, too.

  • D Stark

    “Without the mantra of herd immunity, these public-health officials would not be able to justify forced mass vaccinations. I usually give the physicians who question my statement that herd immunity is a myth a simple example. When I was a medical student almost 40 years ago, it was taught that the tetanus vaccine would last a lifetime. Then 30 years after it had been mandated, we discovered that its protection lasted no more than 10 years. Then, I ask my doubting physician if he or she has ever seen a case of tetanus? Most have not. I then tell them to look at the yearly data on tetanus infections – one sees no rise in tetanus cases. The same can be said for measles, mumps, and other childhood infections. It was, and still is, all a myth.”

    – See more at: http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/2012/02/18/the-deadly-impossibility-of-herd-immunity-through-vaccination-by-dr-russell-blaylock/#.dpuf

  • Lou

    I think a vid should be shown about the possible dangers of vsccinstion, including death and seizures before vaccination.

Comments are closed.

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