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Ohioans Raise Alarm Bells Regarding Proposed Legislation

February 28, 2020 8:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Columbus, Ohio - On Wednesday, February 26, 2020 concerned Ohio citizens testified in opposition to Senate Concurrent Resolution 10 (SCR 10). 

Concerns raised during the hearing included using financial incentives to increase vaccine product consumption, public posting of vaccine product consumption rates, and lack of informed consent related to vaccine consumption.

Nadera Lopez-Garrity stated during her testimony “I particularly oppose the financial incentives to penalize county health departments whose citizens decline a pharmaceutical product and the intention of publicly posting the rates of consuming such biologics, which not only has no bearing on true immunity but such disclosure would be in violation of Ohioans’ constitutional rights.”

According to the SCR 10:

“The Director of Health's proposed revision of Chapter 3701-36 of the Administrative Code includes standards for protecting people from disease and injury, monitoring health status, assuring a safe and healthy environment, promoting healthy lifestyles, and addressing the need for personal health services, as well as procedures for payment of state subsidies for meeting those standards [emphasis added].”

One of the public health quality indicators in the Director of Health’s proposed revision of Chapter 3701-36-05 includes:

“Immunizations: measured by increasing the percentage of children entering kindergarten, seventh, and twelfth grades who are fully vaccinated in accordance with section 3313.671 of the Revised Code [emphasis added].”

According to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 3313.671 a child is considered fully vaccinated if they have consumed a vaccine product for the following: mumps, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, rubeola, rubella, hepatitis B, chicken pox, and meningococcal disease (A, C, Y, and W). A child may be exempt from the vaccine consumption requirement if a parent or guardian submits a written statement declining based on medical, or reasons of conscience, including religious convictions.

Chairman Dave Burke, R - Ohio Senate District 26, expressed concern over the prospect of counting those with legal exemptions like medical, religious, and personal in the percentage of people eligible to be vaccinated when considering the quality indicator measured by increasing vaccination rates.

Michelle Cotterman, a registered nurse, testified in opposition to SCR10 based on the public posting of vaccination rates stating that the information is not indicative of true immunization rates. She explained “during a clinical trial for Menveo and Menactra, it was found that 21 months -- less than 2 years -- after receiving the vaccine product, up to 77% of recipients were no longer immune to various bacterial strain types contained in these vaccine products. This is one of the vaccine products listed in Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 3313.671 that would be a part of the quality indicators related to increasing consumption and subject to payment of state subsidies for meeting those standards.”

Bill sponsor, Senator Peggy Lehner, R - Ohio Senate District 6, said "I don't think that there is language in the rules that have been promulgated to begin to tie, um, that concern that we are somehow paying people off to be vaccinated, I think that is a real leap.”

Lehner also added "We are living in a time where there is a lot of distrust about a lot of institutions.”

In 2019, Lehner was seeking to sponsor legislation that would remove the personal and religious vaccine exemptions. Dayton Daily News reported "Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, is pushing a bill to only allow Ohio children to skip vaccinations for medical reasons — a move that is expected to bring opposition from anti-vaccination groups as well as conservative lawmakers who place a premium on individual rights."

Rishanne and Doug Golden, who lost their daughter Haleigh to vaccine-induced seizures, raised concerns about lack of proper informed consent prior to vaccine administration and cautioned the committee about having a County Health Department quality indicator including increasing the percentage of vaccination rates. "Health and Human Services commissioned a study which found that vaccine injury and death are not rare, but are rarely reported; finding less than 1% of injuries or deaths are ever reported," she said. They have a website in their daughter’s memory and honor, Haleigh's Heart.

Lisa Griffin from the Ohio Department of Health testified that the changes only affect data reporting requirements and are not tied to the county health department funding. When questioned by Senator Kristina Roegner, R - Ohio Senate District 7, about specific language relating to minimal standards and subsidy payments, Griffin was unable to identify if optimal or minimal standards include increasing vaccination rates. Chairman Burke addressed the volume of concerns raised from the community on this issue and requested a statement in writing from the Ohio Department of Health that increasing vaccination rates is not tied to financial incentives from the state.

After much discussion and an unsettled reasonable doubt raised by concerned Ohioans, the roll was opened and the bill was voted out of committee. Questions remain on what formula is used for distributing state subsidy funds and which standards are used to determine that distributionSCR 10 will be scheduled in the coming weeks on the Senate floor for a vote.

If you would like to receive updates on this legislation, participate in future legislative action alerts and other initiatives involving health freedom in Ohio, please consider signing up for a membership with Health Freedom Ohio.

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