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Leave Parents Free to Choose Vaccines: Americans are Punished for Declining to Use Vaccines While Citizens in Canada, Japan and the EU Have a Choice

Needle photo by Steven Depolo
Photo by Steven Depolo.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admit that U.S. pertussis outbreaks are not due to a failure to vaccinate but failure of the vaccine to confer long-lasting immunity.

By Barbara Loe Fisher
The public conversation about vaccine safety and choice began after Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, shielding drug companies from product liability and doctors from vaccine-injury lawsuits. Under that law, $3 billion has been paid to the vaccine injured while liability-free drug companies enjoy profits from a multibillion dollar market.

U.S. health officials now recommend 69 doses of 16 vaccines for every child. States mandate up to 15 of them — twice as many as 30 years ago.


With 95% of U.S. kindergarteners fully vaccinated and one child in six learning disabled, one in 10 asthmatic and one in 50 living with autism, educated parents and health care professionals are asking legitimate questions about why so many highly vaccinated children are so sick. They're examining vaccine science shortfalls and wondering why Americans are coerced and punished for declining to use every government-recommended vaccine while citizens in Canada, Japan and the European Union are free to make choices.

Vaccines carry two risks: a risk of harm and a risk of failure to prevent disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admit that U.S. pertussis outbreaks are not due to a failure to vaccinate but failure of the vaccine to confer long-lasting immunity.

The Institute of Medicine acknowledges major gaps in scientific knowledge about how and why vaccines cause injury and death and who will be more susceptible to suffering harm. Vaccine risks are not shared equally by all because "no exceptions" vaccine mandates discriminate against and penalize those vulnerable to vaccine complications.

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