When contacting our legislators we need to focus as much as possible on RIGHTS. Remember, as a group: We are NOT anti-vaccine! We are pro parental rights!
Below are some talking points to help keep you focused. Personal stories are the best! Be prepared to tell yours if you have one, esp if you have a vaccine injured child, if our laws effected your ability to work, your child's ability to attend school, or if you are going to have to move out of the state.
If you don't know who your legislators are or how to contact them go to openstates.org to find out or contact MPVR.
Above all be respectful and polite. When you address them you are going to be identified as one of our group. It is okay to be firm, but getting angry and overly pushy or rude hurts our cause.
• You are calling to ask that your legislator (representative and senator) support legislation that will give parents options regarding vaccination in the state of Mississippi.
• Mississippi has the most heavily vaccinated pediatric population in the world and our kids are the least healthy in the country. The US leads the world having the most massive vaccination schedule and MS leads the US in coverage rates. Last year we only had 16 medical waivers to the schedule granted among all kindergarteners in MS. Other states grant hundreds of medical exemptions annually. The MS State Dept of Health may think this is a good thing. Parents in MS do not!
• 48 other HEALTHIER states have a personal belief and/or religious waivers to vaccination. (MS and WV) All of our bordering states also have NON medical exemptions. We rank last in pediatric health, even leading the nation in Infant Mortality and SIDS.
• Children are getting 49 vaccines by kindergarten and 70 by HS graduation per the CDC recommended schedule. Most of these are required by MS law starting on the first day of life and more than half of them are given in the first 24 months.
• Vaccine manufacturers and those who administer vaccines cannot be held liable for death or injury due to vaccination in the US because they are protected under The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. This act not only protects drug companies from vaccine injury liability (they cannot be sued), but provides a tax funded pool of money for families whose claims for vaccine death or injury are proven in federal court, which is difficult to do.
• Since the 1986 Act that indemnifies vaccine makers, our vaccine schedule has balooned and more are being added continually. We don't know how many is too many for a given child. Where does it stop? How many is too many?
• Childhood vaccines are a one-size-fits all medicine. It is a huge lucrative government program that is now out of control. MS parents just want OPTIONS.
• Mississippi has the most rigid vaccination laws in the U.S. with unelected bureaucrats in the MS Department of Health having the power to override our pediatricians' recommendations for an altered schedule or medical exemption. In all other states in the country, except for MS and WV, a doctor writes a medical waiver to be submitted directly to the school. In MS, however, it is written to the Dept of Health for review and permission.
• The MSDH habitually denies our pediatricians’ written requests to vaccinate our children according to a child’s unique needs or even for a full exemption on medical grounds. This is problematic for MS families and simply is not working. We do not believe that unelected bureaucrats who have never seen our children should be the ﬁnal authority over our children’s healthcare.
• Most parents want to vaccinate their children, however, our children are each created as individuals and many parents would like the freedom to treat them as such without being discriminated against. Many parents simply want to spread the schedule out, but they cannot.
Tell your legislator that you hope that he/she will represent you in 2015.
While we realize and understand they will want to get the "other side of the story" from the Dept of Health, we would like for them to keep in mind that this is something that a growing mass of educated Mississippi people are fighting for.
ASK: Will you support my rights as a parent? (or parents' rights)
We have seen success over the phone by posing questions that require our legislators to dialog with us. Asking these questions and listening to the responses can give you a good idea of where your legislator stands and what his/her concerns may be.
• Can we agree that this should be a parents decision made with their doctor?
• How do you feel about 49 doses before kindergarten, and are you comfortable with the fact that more can and will be added?
Each legislator is receiving a couple of MPVR email newsletters each week. Let them know you would appreciate them reading these short, informative newsletters being sent on your behalf.
Please send a quick text to 601.3four1.4359 and/or 601.5four0.1665 with your name, your legislator's name and where you feel he/she stands after speaking with him/her so that we may keep a record. Thank you so much!
Download MPVR Talking Points 2015 :: Printable .PDF of these talking points