The balances in our system that should stand between big government bureaucracies, powerful medical lobbies, and our infants and children do not exist in Mississippi's childhood vaccination program.
In Mississippi, unlike the rest of the country, your doctor is not authorized to grant your child's medical exemption.
When a Mississippi child suffers a serious vaccine reaction, a doctor must submit to the government a request for medical exemption from further vaccination. Even when a family is awarded compensation by the Federal Government for their child's injury, the MS Department of Health may still reject their pediatrician's request. Denial of a medical exemption compels that child to be re-vaccinated, risking his health or be deprived of a public/private education.
Medical exemption denials are issued by the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) on a local level by phone. Written testimonies by parents and doctors reveal the MSDH denies physician's requests for medical exemption habitually. Since law nor policy require MSDH to document denials there is no record. Parents who requested denials in writing report being yelled at and berated by local health officers and health department nurses.
Listen here as a mother of a vaccine injured child requests her exemption in writing from the local health officer:
MSDH and the medical lobbies proclaim 155 of 156 physician requests were granted this year. Rep Steve Holland testified using this statistic when arguing against HB938, which would create a real medical exemption for children in need, on the House floor.
The figure of 155, in reality, represents the number of children, K-12th , who are currently enrolled in school with existing medical exemptions to one or more shots. "The Final School Compliance Report", where this number was obtained, does not reflect exemptions applied for nor how many were denied this year. Recounting old exemptions as new in order to sway our legislators is dishonest and manipulative.
According to CDC, 90% coverage is needed for "herd immunity." We have 550,000 school children (public and private) in the state of MS. Even at 99% coverage, we could still feasibly exempt 5,500 children and remain quite safe. Yet we have a scant 155 (.003% exempted and 99.996% coverage) and are told by medical lobbies that creating a real medical exemption, as other states have had for decades, is “dangerous” and “puts children at risk.”
To parents, the vaccine agenda in Mississippi seems more about capitalized medical extremism driven by pride and federal funding than about public health or the well-being of the individual child.
A 140 page Vaccine Adverse Event Report for MS from a database set up by the federal government is available online where doctors are legally required to report reactions. The FDA states only 1-10% of adverse events are reported as there are no penalties in many states, including MS, for not reporting. We found 62 vaccine related deaths in Mississippi with 33 of them being infants under 6 months of age.
Yet, in an interview with Mississippi Public Broadcasting's The Southern Remedy, State Health Officer, Dr. Mary Currier, appeared to be completely unaware of this online database, and stated she “hasn't looked at that in a long time.” She goes on to say that she mostly knows what she hears from "health clinics" and "other folks." She also shares that since she started work at the Department of Health in 1988, she doesn't recall “any of those bad reactions.” Our State Health Officer is commissioned by current law to create and oversee the childhood vaccine schedule as well as medical exemptions.
Fast forward to 13:23 and then 14:09 to hear our State Health Officer in her own words:
The exceedingly high vaccine coverage rates in MS are a direct result of abuse and discrimination inflicted on families of vaccine-vulnerable children, and any legislator or healthcare professional who is protecting the current law is responsible. We are #1 in something, but it is at the expense of many innocent Mississippi children and that is shameful.
Mississippi's broken medical waiver is in desperate need of repair. Parents are grateful to the House of Representatives who voted to pass a bill to fix this problem (HB938) and to Governor Bryant who agreed to sign it.
Sadly, our Senate failed to hear the parents of Mississippi in favor of medical and drug lobbies, and agenda-driven bureaucracies.
We are disappointed but not surprised and plan to be back to try again in 2017.
Mississippi Parents for Vaccine Rights