Removing vaccination exemptions sparks a controversy

Liberals in Oklahoma are aiming to strip away the rights of parents to refuse vaccination for their children.

A recent published article quoted Thomas L. Kuhls, a pediatrician and president of the newly formed political action committee Vaccinate Oklahoma, saying that no children should be exempted, even for personal and philosophical reasons.

The issue has arisen because of an outbreak of mumps in Oklahoma.

“I’m the first to admit, no vaccine is going to be 100 percent effective to an individual,” Kuhls said in a Norman Transcript story. “Most vaccines are in the 90 percent range.

Oklahomans for Vaccine and Health Choice-PAC [OVHC-PAC] is a non-profit, bi-partisan political action committee that seeks to protect the personal and religious liberties of all Oklahoma citizens by actively preserving the philosophical and religious exemptions that Oklahoma has held dear for decades.

“We oppose any legislation that persecutes those that exempt themselves or their children, tracks or reveals vaccine status without consent, or coerces Oklahomans into medical procedures without their full informed consent,” said Dr. Andy Revelis, M.D., director, Health Advisory Board, OK for Vaccine & Health Choice-PAC.

“While the CDC claims 88 percent efficacy for the MMR vaccine, it is important to note that there is pending legislation against Merck for purportedly fraudulent claims made about the effectiveness of the mumps component of the MMRII vaccine,” according to Liza Greve, OVH-PAC chairman. “The first court case, United States vs. Merck & Co, stems from claims by two former Merck scientists that Merck ‘fraudulently misled the government and omitted, concealed, and adulterated material information regarding the efficacy of its mumps vaccine in violation of the FCA [False Claims Act].’

“The second court case, Chatom Primary Care vs. Merck & Co. claims damages because Merck fraudulently monopolized the mumps market. Doctors and medical practices would be able to obtain compensation for having been sold an overpriced, monopolized product, and a defective one to boot….the suit alleged that Merck expected outbreaks to occur and, as predicted, they did – mumps epidemics occurred in 2006 in a highly-vaccinated population and again in 2009-2010).”

OVHC-PAC disagrees with Kuhl’s description of HB 3016, the Parental Rights Immunization Act, as an “anti-vaccine” law. This law would have provided parents with a list of vaccine ingredients so they could make the best medical choices, in conjunction with their own doctors, for their individual child.

According to this article, “He [Kuhls] said the connection between autism and vaccines is non-existent and is born of a lack of understanding.”

OVHC-PAC strongly encourages all Oklahomans to research the pending Congressional investigation of the CDC, based on the confession of Dr. William Thompson, that the CDC committed fraud regarding the MMR vaccine and a 2004 autism study. While vaccines may not be the sole cause autism, the connection between the two clearly exists, and is supported both by research and over 70 federal vaccine injury court cases.

According to Kuhls: “…it is irresponsible to put a choice motivated by fear and misinformation above public health.”

OVHC-PAC strongly agrees with this statement.

“Fear and misinformation are dangerous weapons that in our view can only be overcome by honesty, transparency, and the protection of true, informed consent,” said Greve. “These are all principles based in ethics, freedom, and liberty that are represented and protected by our organization.

Jim Meehan, MD and OVHC member, said, “The science is sound, but its application is corrupted. The government gave vaccine manufacturers essentially a blank check, removing all product liability and leaving the public in the dark.”

If a child is injured by a vaccine, parents cannot sue the vaccine manufacturer. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was signed into law in 1986.

The Norman Transcript story stated, “The Oklahoma Department of Health issued a statement on the mumps vaccine, calling it ‘safe and effective.’”  And “The Oklahoma Department of Health has yet to release information on the exemption status of those recently infected, but [Oklahoma Department of Health Public Information Officer Corey] Robertson said the majority were vaccinated against mumps.”

According to publicly-accessible, data from the Arkansas Health Departments, none of the school-aged persons affected out of the 196 cases of mumps in Arkansas had a vaccine exemption on file. Arkansas Health Department Director Nate Smith stated, “Even those who have been fully vaccinated can still catch the disease, and so far all of the children who have caught the virus were vaccinated… The department interviewed that person [the traveler from Iowa who is believed to be the source of the outbreak] and ensured that all the people who were in close contact with that person and the Arkansas adult who was infected were up to date on their vaccinations.”

According to an official release from the OK State Health Department on September 27, 2016, regarding the current mumps outbreak in OK, 25 individuals were vaccinated (74 percent), and 9 had unknown or unvaccinated status (26 percent). We do not know how many of the 9 in the unvaccinated/unknown category were unvaccinated. There were no deaths or hospitalizations.

“The agenda to remove parental choice is shrouded in questions and the bigger issue is why do many parents not have the utmost confidence in the over 69 dose schedule that is currently recommended for their children?” Greve asked. “We believe that after receiving informed consent, parents should always have the ultimate choice, without government interference, regarding their children’s healthcare decisions. Particularly when the vaccine manufacturer has no liability if their child should die or have a disabling or serious reaction to a vaccination. Who will be responsible? The parents will, so they should have the final say in this important decision.”