Texas Health Freedom ALERT – Oppose HBs 2171 and 2474

Colleagues and Friends of Texas Health Freedom,
This Friday and Saturday, there are two important votes on the floor of the Texas House on two bad vaccine mandate bills. HB 2171 removes opt in consent from the registry for young adults. HB 2474 forces schools to publish incomplete and misleading vaccine exemption information taken out of context that could result in further discrimination of students whose parents utilize exemptions.

Below is important information from National Vaccine Information Center regarding these two bills. Please educate yourself and take action TODAY.

Thanks for your support of Texas Health Freedom,

Your Coalition Executive Committee

NVIC Advocacy Portal

Your prompt action contacting your state representative and the speaker to oppose HB 2171 and HB 2474 is needed. Both bills have passed out of committee and are scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives at the end of the week. HB 2171 is on the general state calendar for this Friday May 1st andHB 2474 is on the general state calendar for this Saturday May 2nd.

HB 2171, authored by Representative J.D. Sheffield (R), D-59, Gainesville needs to be opposed.
Texas law recognizes people 18 years of age as adults in control of their own medical treatment and release of their own medical records. Texas law also recognizes the vaccine tracking system as an opt-in system. HB 2171 ignores those two facts by automatically including children who were in the state child vaccine tracking registry when they become adults by deleting the section in current law which requires the health department to ask the young adult if they would like to continue in the registry. This instead makes the opt-in registry opt-out for adults.

HB 2474, also authored by Rep. J.D. Sheffield (R), D-59, Gainesville, needs to be opposed.
HB 2474 requires the health department to report cases of an illness that have a vaccine corresponding to it to the legislature along with the number of vaccine exemptions filed. HB 2474 also requires individual schools to submit individual school vaccine exemption information to the health department and display it on their web site.
This bill requires the monitoring and release of total vaccine exemption rate information without breaking down from which vaccines and doses exemptions are being taken. Not only does this render the information not useful to any parent, the information is likely to be taken out of context to add yet another layer of pressure and coercion towards vaccination with every single dose of every single vaccine by creating an environment conducive to pitting parent against parent and child against child. Even though the bill does not authorize the release of individually identifiable information, the numbers of children utilizing these exemptions are so small that this bill puts the exposure of their identity at risk.

Unfortunately there is misinformation being put out by medical groups and groups that support forced vaccination, and it is crucial that your legislators understand what the bills do and what they don’t do. Claims are being made that simply aren’t true. It is very important that we clear up some of these false impressions being spread by those who want everyone vaccinated no matter what.

There is a sample letter below for each bill that explains the bills and why they should be opposed that you can use or edit as you like.

LEGISLATIVE EDUCATION ACTION NEEDED NOW
1) Choose how you would like to deliver your message to your legislators. The suggested modes of communication below are listed in the order of being more likely to be more impactful on educating your legislator. You can always call and follow up with an email. Do it all! Make your voices heard!

a) Make an appointment for a direct personal visit;
b) Make an appointment to talk directly in a personal phone call;
c) Make an appointment to talk in person to a legislative aide;
d) Call and talk to a legislative aide to relay a message;
e) Stop by your legislator’s office and talk to the aid responsible for vaccine bills,
f) Send a letter, a fax, or an email through web contact forms or legislative email address.

2) Lookup your State Representative and Senator and their contact information.
Enter your address in the upper left corner of this home page (“Who Represents Me?”) for your State Representative and State Senator’s contact information (NOT member of US Congress!).

3) Contact your own State Representative and Senator and Ask them to VOTE NO on both HB 2171 and HB 2474. (See Sample Letters below for talking points).

FACEBOOK USERS: Find this post on the National Vaccine Information Center Facebook page and share!
SAMPLE LETTERS
HB 2171 OPPOSE – Rep. J.D. Sheffield (R), D-59, Gainesville
Relating to information maintained in the immunization registry with the consent of an individual after the individual becomes an adult.
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[Date]
OPPOSE HB 2171: Oppose Vaccine Registry Becoming Opt-Out for Adults
Dear Representative [Last Name],
As your constituent, I urge you to vote against HB 2171 which is set on the general state calendar for May 1st.
For any minor child whose parent or legal guardian consents for them to be included in the childhood state vaccine tracking database, HB 2171 removes the current legal requirement for the state health department to obtain opt-in informed consent when that minor child becomes an adult for continued inclusion. The bill allows the state health department to instead assume continued consent for the adult and imposes the burden of an opt-out state vaccine tracking system for those adults.
The problem with this bill is that while it appears to preserve opt-in informed consent for inclusion and the release of records, consent is given to the wrong person. HB 2171 automatically includes children who were in the state child vaccine tracking registry when they become adults by deleting the section in current law which requires the health department to ask the young adult if they would like to continue in the registry. This instead makes the registry opt-out for adults. Parents or guardians only have the right to give opt-in consent for a minor child, but they do not have the legal right to consent for their adult child preemptively removing that right for the adult person in the registry to consent for themselves.
Texas law recognizes people 18 years of age as adults in control of their own medical treatment and release of their own medical records. Sec. 159.005 of the Occupations Code gives clear and strict requirements for the release of confidential medical information. It may not be done without the written informed consent of the patient themselves unless that patient is a minor. HB 2171 attempts to circumvent this.
HB 2171 is unnecessary because current law already allows adults 18 and older to consent to keeping their records in the state vaccine tracking system and the law already gives the state health department a year grace period to affirm that consent. (Health and Safety Code Sec 161.007 (a-2))
Because the information contained in the state vaccine tracking system can and is used to discriminate against and exact penalties on those young adults who choose not to get every single dose of every single vaccine, it is imperative for our Texas children to retain their ability to guarantee that information is not stored and shared without their consent.
Since the bill is requiring the health department to track down the young adult to tell them they can “remove” their records, they can just as easily continue to track them down to get their consent as required by current law. Since the health department doesn’t have a very good history at contacting and communicating, the legislature needs to oppose this to err on the side of consent.
HB 2171 needs to be opposed because it will result in people who didn’t want to be in the registry as adults being in there without their knowledge or consent. By then, the data has been shared and it can’t be removed from other systems by opting out.
Sincerely,
[Your Name]

HB 2474 OPPOSE – Rep. J.D. Sheffield (R), D-59, Gatesville
Relating to requirements for and the transparency of epidemiological reports and immunization exemption information and reports
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[Date]
OPPOSE HB 2474: Oppose Useless Exemption Number Disclosures
Dear Representative [Last Name],
As your constituent, I urge you to vote against HB 2474 which is set on the general state calendar for May 2nd.
HB 2474 requires the health department to report cases of an illness that have a vaccine corresponding to it to the legislature along with the number of vaccine exemptions filed. HB 2474 also requires individual schools to submit individual school vaccine exemption information to the health department and display it on their web site.
This bill requires the monitoring and release of total vaccine exemption rate information without breaking down from which vaccines and doses exemptions are being taken. Not only does this render the information not useful to any parent, the information is likely to be taken out of context to add yet another layer of pressure and coercion towards vaccination with every single dose of every single vaccine by creating an environment conducive to pitting parent against parent and child against child. Even though the bill does not authorize the release of individually identifiable information, the numbers of children utilizing these exemptions are so small that this bill puts the exposure of their identity at risk.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services reports on vaccine coverage levels, vaccination rates in Texas school children have actually increased since the passage of the conscientious exemption in 2003. http://nvicadvocacy.org/members/Portals/0/NVIC/2015TexasVaccineExemptNumbers.pdf
School children today receive 69 doses of vaccines for 16 different viral and bacterial illnesses (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html) which more than doubles the government childhood schedule of 34 doses of 11 different vaccines in the year 2000. (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4902a4.htm)
A vaccine exemption form is required regardless if the exemption is for one dose or all doses. 35 additional doses and 5 more unique vaccines have been added to the childhood vaccine schedule in the last 15 years. Those supporting this bill and others like it are being dishonest by not acknowledging the increasing vaccination rates of each individual vaccine in spite of the exploding vaccine schedule while sounding alarms over small increases in overall numbers of conscientious exemption forms used.
HB 2474 creates a false sense of security and has nothing to do with public health and protecting immune compromised students by ignoring the following facts that are not shared with parents when the health department and schools discuss vaccination and exemption rates.
Some people are non-responders to some vaccines and vaccine effectiveness for some vaccines, especially for pertussis containing vaccines, wanes rapidly. Some students are provisionally enrolled and not fully vaccinated. Federal law, the McKinney-Vento Act, requires that homeless students be allowed to attend school without proof of immunizations. Far more students according to the state health department are delinquent on vaccinations than students who have exemptions. http://nvicadvocacy.org/members/Portals/0/NVIC/2015TexasVaccineExemptNumbers.pdf
There are no requirements (and there shouldn’t be) that teachers, staff, and administration be vaccinated with the same childhood vaccine schedule. These all are people who are no different immunologically than a healthy student with a vaccine exemption and yet they represent a much larger percentage of the school population than the less than 1% of students on average with a vaccine exemption targeted by this bill.
On the other hand, students with active HIV infections are not only allowed to attend school, their confidentiality of their infection status is protected in state and federal law. Students infected with Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C also attend school without parents of other students being told. Students who are vaccinated with live viral vaccines experience viral shedding and can infect susceptible individuals for a period of several weeks post vaccination and yet no notices are published in schools and classrooms warning of viral shedding of recently vaccinated students. Some people who are vaccinated still get the illness (vaccine failures) while some have subclinical infections and can still transmit vaccine preventable diseases and not show symptoms because the vaccine suppresses them. The reporting requirements to the legislature in the bill are biased and not helpful since they leave out the incidences of vaccine targeted illnesses that occur in vaccinated students.
The bottom line is HB 2474 needs to be opposed because it doesn’t give any useful information on keeping children safe in schools while it isolates and marginalizes healthy children whose parents don’t agree with all government mandated vaccines by focusing schools and parents on misleading and incomplete information.
Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Sincerely,
Dawn Richardson and Rebecca Rex
Texas State Directors
National Vaccine Information Center
http://NVIC.org and http://NVICAdvocacy.org

https://nvicadvocacy.org/members/Members/ContactUs.aspx

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) works diligently to prepare and disseminate our legislative advocacy action alerts and supporting materials. We request that organizations and members of the public forward our alerts in their original form to assure consistent and accurate messaging and effective action. Please acknowledge NVIC as originators of this work when forwarding to members of the public and like-minded organizations. To receive alerts immediately, register at http://NVICAdvocacy.org, a website dedicated to this sole purpose and provided as a free public service by NVIC.

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