We contacted you a couple of weeks ago to ask for your help to oppose a bad bill, SB 162, which implements vaccine mandates for all hospital employees having patient contact starting in 2017. SB 162 is authored by Sen. Patricia Miller and Sen. James Arnold. House Sponsors are Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer and Rep. Charlie Brown. There have been some very concerning developments with this bill requiring your immediate communication with your legislators.
SB 162 unfortunately passed the full senate on 2/2/16 completely unopposed with a vote of 50 yes and 0 no. The bill was amended to become a much worse bill. While the introduced version of the bill prohibited a hospital from ultimately requiring an employee to receive a vaccine if the “employee refuses to permit the immunization after being fully informed of the health risks” (introduced version p. 2 lines 26-40), the final version sent to the House was significantly adversely altered to force vaccination as a condition of employment and to grant liability protection for hospitals firing employees.
SB 162 should be OPPOSED because it:
1. Requires a minimum of 8 vaccines for hospital employees as a condition of employment: Influenza, Varicella, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (page 2 lines 13-16).
- There is no crisis warranting government forced vaccination of hospital employees.
- These vaccines are already available to the employees who want them.
- Many labor unions oppose mandatory flu vaccination for health care workers.
- There is no guarantee an employee will even respond to vaccination as vaccines fail sometimes where even fully vaccinated people become infected.
- According to the CDC, the 2014-2015 flu shot was only approximately 19% effective.
- Individuals vaccinated with an acellular pertussis vaccine may show no symptoms yet still become infected and spread pertussis to others including infants.
- The Cochrane Collaboration concluded, “There is no evidence that only vaccinating healthcare workers prevents laboratory-proven influenza or its complications (lower respiratory tract infection, hospitalization or death due to lower respiratory tract infection) in individuals aged 60 or over in LTCIs and thus no evidence to mandate compulsory vaccination of healthcare workers.”
- While this bill requires the 8 above listed vaccines, individual hospitals could add any number of vaccines approved for adults as a requirement. Nothing in this bill prohibits that. This could include the additional vaccines of Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Haemophilus Influenzae type B, Meningococcal, Pneumococcal, Human papillomavirus, and Zoster which are currently on the ACIP Adult Immunization Schedule.
- There are several thousand vaccine clinical trials being conducted, including for infectious and non-infectious diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, HIV/AIDS, genital herpes, RSV, strep B, cytomegalovirus, hepatitis C, tuberculosis, e-coli, salmonella, asthma, diabetes, obesity, anti-cocaine and heroin use. Many of these will be added to the adult schedule leaving hospital employees with an endless potential for mandates in the future.
3. Allows hospitals to fire employees who don’t receive the required vaccines (page 2 lines 38-42) and protects the hospital or agent from any liability for firing an individual over vaccination compliance (page 3 lines (9-13).
- Many good health care workers who want to delay or decline any or all doses specified in this bill will lose their jobs and the employee will have no legal recourse for being discriminated against and bullied over their informed vaccination decision. Vaccines manufacturers and the doctors who administer vaccines are already completely shielded from liability for vaccine injuries and deaths.
- Indiana workman’s compensation programs will have to pay for employees who are injured as a result of vaccine requirements for their jobs.
- The current fiscal note for SB 162 already says this bill could “cause a county hospital’s expenses to exceed its revenues”, and workman’s compensation claims responsible by the state is not even a cost to the state included in the fiscal note for the bill.
- This violates the informed consent rights of hospital employees who have concerns that vaccines carry the risk of injury and death.
- The United States Government has paid out more than $3.3 billion dollars to vaccine victims.
- Many more people have adverse reactions.
- The flu vaccine is the most compensated vaccine in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
5. Restricts the religious exemption from the introduced version “receiving the immunization is against the employee’s religious beliefs” (page 2 line 37-38) by allowing a hospital instead to establish a discriminatory and unconstitutional process for determining whether the tenets of the religion relied upon by an individual for purposes of a religious exemption would prohibit the individual from receiving an immunization (page 3 lines 36-39).
6. Restricts the medical exemption to “medically contraindicated” instead of permitting the professional medical opinion of the employee’s physician.
- There are many health reasons outside of the extremely narrow CDC defined contraindications why a doctor may want to medically exempt their patient.
- SB 162 doesn’t allow for an exemption granted for natural immunity. Varicella, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Influenza are all viruses that the employee could have contracted in the past to which they already have immunity. Vaccination is not only unnecessary and redundant, but it puts the health and safety of the employee at risk.
1) Contact your own Indiana State Representative and ask him/her to oppose SB 162, state mandated vaccines for hospital employees. Use the points above that mean something to you and personalize your request.
To find your legislators you can click here and enter your address: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/ or if you are registered with the NVIC Advocacy Portal, register/login at http://NVICAdvocacy.org. Click on “Check What is Happening in Your State” on the home page or “My State” on the STATE TEAMS Tab. Your personal state legislators are listed on the right side of the page. Click on your senator to display his/her contact information.
Prioritize your communication method: In-Person communications are the most effective. Make an appointment to meet with your legislators or their staff in person ASAP. If you can’t meet in person, make a phone appointment right away to discuss with your legislator or their staff assigned to these bills why your family is opposed to them. EVERYONE should be directly visiting or talking to their legislators or staff on the phone. Additionally, everyone needs to send an email voicing their opposition. If this issue is important to your family, please make the time for personal direct communication in addition to emailing. It is far more effective and we will need those personal connections and personal stories to stop a bill like this.
2) Contact Mike Pence and ask him to oppose SB 162, state mandated vaccines for hospital employees. Use the points above to personalize why you want him to oppose this bill. Office of the Governor, Statehouse, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-2797, Phone: 317-232-4567, web contact form.
3) Login to the NVIC Advocacy Portal often to check for updates. http://NVICAdvocacy.org
Bills can change many times over the legislative process and be brought up for votes at different stages of the process.
4) SHARE! Please forward this email to family and friends, other health care workers, and health care trade associations or unions and ask them to share their concerns with their legislators as well. If you are on Facebook, like “National Vaccine Information Center” and find this alert posted there to share with your social network.
5) Please forward any legislative responses you receive or outcomes of meetings on your legislator’s position on the billsto [email protected].
NVIC Advocacy Team
National Vaccine Information Center
http://NVIC.org and http://NVICAdvocacy.org
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– See more at: http://vaccineimpact.com/2016/forced-vaccination-for-all-hospital-workers-passes-indiana-senate-unanimously/#sthash.QQEq7txp.dpuf