New York Bill Would Protect Physicians’ Right to Make Vaccine-Related Decisions, Reject Federal Narrative

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ALBANY, N.Y. (Jan. 15, 2019) – A bill introduced in the New York Assembly would protect a medical providers’ rights to make vaccine-related decisions and push back against any future federal vaccine mandates.

Assemblyman David DiPietro [R] introduced Assembly Bill 8867 (A8867) on Jan 8. The legislation would amend New York law to protect medical providers in instances where they opt not to administer vaccines or they write a medical exemption from the vaccine requirements. Under the bill, it would not be considered professional misconduct for a medical provider covered by the bill to do any of the following:

  • fail to immunize any patient under his/her care if such a patient refuses, or a person in parental relation to a child refuses consent to immunize the child;
  • provide a certification that any immunization may be detrimental to a patient’s health if, in his/her professional judgment, such immunization poses a risk to such patient; or
  • provide any treatment or care to a patient who has not received any immunizations required by law.

Furthermore, under the proposed law:

  • medical providers covered by the bill would not be subject to any proceedings, including investigations, for misconduct for any of the actions listed above; and
  • a certification discussed above by a medical provider covered by the bill would not be subject to review by any department, public officer or board.

Passage of A8867 would protect medical providers’ rights to practice medicine in accordance with their professional judgment. 

Passage of A8867 would protect medical providers’ rights to make vaccine-related decisions in accordance with their professional judgment, including when doing so results in patients not receiving any or all of vaccinations recommended by the CDC.

Vaccine mandates, which are based upon CDC recommendations, currently exist at the state level and apply only to children. States have historically allowed all or some of the following three types of exemptions:  1.) religious; 2.) philosophical; and 3.) medical. However, states are increasingly rolling back or eliminating exemptions, with recent examples of this occurring in New York, Washington, Maine and California. [2] [3]

Prior to June 13, 2019, New York had both a religious and a medical exemption. On June 13, 2019, the New York legislature pushed a bill to repeal the religious exemption through both the New York Assembly and Senate in one day, with no public hearing, in an unprecedented move that prevented citizen participation in the process. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law on the same date. [4] This whirlwind move left New York with only one remaining exemption remaining, a medical exemption. [5]

California has stood in these same shoes as New York, with only one exemption in place, a medical exemption, since late June of 2015. However, in a “chipping away” approach, California’s sole remaining exemption was significantly weakened on September 9, 2019, when California enacted SB276, despite extensive citizens’ protests against it. As a result of SB276’s enactment, the standard to qualify for a medical exemption in California beginning in 2021 will be much stricter than that previously in place and will likely prevent most children who were previously granted an exemption from qualifying for one. [6] [7] As a further result of SB276, state appointees will have the ultimate decision making power regarding medical exemptions and multiple conditions and requirements will be placed upon doctors writing exemptions which will strongly disincentivize them from doing so (i.e., physicians can’t charge for filling out the medical exemption form or for a physical examination related to the renewal of a temporary medical exemption; the health department is to make notification to the medical board if it believes that a doctor is contributing to “a public health risk” by writing an exemption; the health department is to make notification to the medical board if a doctor has five or more medical exemption forms revoked in a calendar year; and if there is a pending accusation against a doctor with the medical board, an exemption form will not be accepted from that doctor until the accusation is resolved in favor of the doctor).  [8] [9]

Passage of A8867 would help to prevent a hollowing out of New York’s last remaining exemption in the manner that California has recently experienced.

Further, New Yorkers are currently faced with several bills, which, if passed, would erode parental vaccine rights and/or the right to refuse vaccinations, making this legislative session a particularly important one for those concerned about protecting informed consent. Examples of such bills are as follows:

  • A973/ S3899: Would allow children to consent to drugs and vaccines to prevent sexually-transmitted diseases without parental knowledge or consent. [10]
  • A2316/ S2276: Would mandates influenza vaccines for persons attending daycare, pre-k, and K-12 [11]
  • A2912 / S298b: Would mandate Merck’s Gardasil vaccine for HPV for all children born after January 1, 2009 [12]
  • A6564c / S4244c: Would permit administering vaccines to children at least fourteen years of age without parental knowledge or consent. [13]

Effect on Federal Policy

Although no federal vaccine mandates currently exist, there’s reason to believe that the federal government may impose mandates shortly and that the mandates may not be limited to children. Passage by states of laws that preserve vaccine-related rights, such as AB 8867, would push back against this.

Mandates are increasingly being issued at a federal level around the world, such as in Argentina, Italy and France. [14] [15] In the U.S., in February of 2019, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, then Commissioner of the FDA, made comments to CNN indicating that the federal government has the authority to mandate vaccines and could step in with mandates if states don’t require more children to be vaccinated. [16] Gottlieb resigned as FDA Commissioner in May of 2019, shortly after making the comments, and joined the Board of Directors of Pfizer, Inc., a vaccine manufacturer, in June of 2019. [17] His departure from a high-level CDC position into a high-level position with a vaccine manufacturer was not unusual, which has given rise to concerns that the vaccine industry has inappropriate influence over the CDC. [18]

Further, in the U.S., the feds have explicitly stated the goals of increasing overall vaccination rates and increasing rates specifically in the adult population. These goals are discussed in the National Vaccine Plan (NVP) and the National Adult Immunization Plan (NAIP), respectively, which can be found on HHS’s website. [19] [20]

There are many reasons to be concerned about vaccine mandates, some of which are discussed below.

The government has removed liability for vaccine manufacturers and those administering vaccines.

Although almost all U.S. manufacturers are subject to product liability, the federal government has lifted this burden from the manufacturers of most vaccines Americans receive. Liability has also been lifted for those administering the vaccines. This resulted from the 1986 passage of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) and subsequent amendments to the Act, along with the 2011 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth. [21]

The 1986 Act also created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), a special system outside of the normal litigation process for claims of harm caused by vaccines, in which the government is the defendant, not the vaccine manufacturers. Any compensation granted by the NVICP is paid by the public, through a surcharge on vaccines, and not by vaccine manufacturers. Over $4 billion has been paid out to date under this system. [22]

The lack of liability for vaccine manufacturers creates an obvious disincentive to make vaccines as safe as possible.

Normal Rules of Discovery Don’t Apply to Vaccine Manufacturers. 

During product liability litigation, companies generally must respond to discovery. This requires them to produce relevant records, such as e-mails and research records, and to answer interrogatories and requests for admissions. However, the vaccine industry has nearly uniquely been given a pass in this area as well. Discovery is not permitted in the NVICP process and, pursuant to the NCVIA, vaccine manufacturers cannot be made to submit to discovery in connection with claims of vaccine injury.

The number of vaccines and the number of doses of vaccines on the schedules is growing significantly.

Since liability was removed from vaccine manufacturers in 1986, the number of vaccines recommended by the industry and the CDC has risen sharply. The CDC currently recommends 70 doses of 16 vaccines by age 18. [23] This is a significant increase from the 24 doses of 7 childhood vaccines recommended by the CDC in 1983. [24]

The expanding number of vaccines being administered has prompted safety concerns. For example, because aluminum is an ingredient in multiple vaccines, concerns have arisen about whether receiving all of the vaccines on the recommended schedules can cause aluminum toxicity. Some research points to this possibility. A recent study in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology concluded that the current CDC childhood vaccine schedule is 15.9 times over the recommended safe level of aluminum when researchers adjusted for body weight and also estimated that a child who followed the vaccine schedule would be in a state of “chronic toxicity” for 70% of the child’s first seven months of life, 149 days from birth to seven months. [25] [26] Additionally, there is a growing body of scientific evidence which indicates a possible connection between aluminum and autism.  [27] [28]

The expanding number of recommended vaccines is especially alarming when considered from a lifetime perspective. Many Americans are unaware that the CDC has both a childhood vaccine schedule and an adult one. [29] A person receiving all of the recommended doses on both schedules would receive a lifetime total of approximately 149 vaccine doses. [30] Further, hundreds of new vaccines are in the developmental process and it is expected that many will be added to the CDC’s schedules.

Once the CDC’s vaccine schedules are mandated by federal law, Americans will continue to be subject to them even as more vaccines and doses are added, in a dangerous slippery slope.

Vaccines safety testing is far less rigorous than the public may believe.

Surprisingly, the safety testing required of vaccines, a product mandated to be injected into children, is far less rigorous than that required for drugs. The FDA has classified vaccines as “biologics” rather than “drugs,” thereby allowing vaccine manufacturers to forego the multi-year, double-blind inert placebo-controlled studies required for drug approval. [31] Almost all vaccine safety studies are conducted without a control group of unvaccinated individuals receiving nothing but an inert placebo. [32] Generally, if a “control” group is used, it receives a substance which is not inert, such as another vaccine or an adjuvant such as aluminum. [33]

Additionally, vaccines are subject to very short periods of monitoring for adverse reactions, often of 14 days or less. [34] [35] Short monitoring periods are particularly concerning in light of research which shows a possible connection between vaccines and medical conditions that may take years to develop, such as autoimmune disorders. The possible scientific connection between vaccines and autoimmune conditions is thoroughly explored and documented in the book Vaccines, Autoimmunity, and the Changing Nature of Childhood Illness by Thomas Cowan, MD. [36]

The science regarding the safety, necessity and efficacy of vaccines is not settled. 

The mainstream media receives a substantial portion of its revenue from the pharmaceutical industry. It also routinely reports that vaccines are “safe and effective” and that the science concerning them is “settled.” However, there are a multitude of vaccines licensed in the U.S., each having a unique set of ingredients, a unique dosing schedule and a unique body of relevant scientific research. Further, each vaccine is administered to a unique human being with his or her own medical history, genetic background and medical vulnerabilities. Additionally, each vaccine must be researched from multiple angles, looking at safety, efficacy and necessity. Therefore, the scientific issues surrounding vaccines are vast and complex. The “safe and effective” mantra broad-brushes a highly complex scientific area with a simplistic slogan. As discussed below, there are many reasons to conclude that the science related to vaccines is unsettled and that further study on the topic is needed.

First, the CDC hasn’t required studies comparing the health outcomes of children vaccinated in accordance with the CDC’s schedule with those of unvaccinated children and evidence exists which indicates that unvaccinated children, or children receiving less than the full CDC schedule of vaccines, may have better health outcomes than those who receive the full schedule. For example, on July 18, 2019, Children’s Health Defense (CHD) posted an article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Chairman of CHD, entitled “Fully Vaccinated v. Unvaccinated – A Summary of the Research” summarizing the results of multiple studies comparing the vaccinated with the unvaccinated conducted since 1999 by independent scientists and, according to the article, “[t]hose studies indicate high incidence of chronic diseases and brain and immune system injuries among vaccinated compared to unvaccinated cohorts.” [37] Another article posted by the CHD team on March 19, 2019, and entitled “Real-Life Data Show that the CDC Vaccine Schedule is Causing Harm” discusses ten years of practice data from Dr. Paul Thomas, a Board-certified pediatrician in Oregon, which reflects that the unvaccinated and partially vaccinated children in Dr. Thomas’ practice had a dramatically lower risk of autism compared to children vaccinated according to the CDC schedule. [38]

Additionally, despite the fact that the CDC’s childhood vaccine schedule includes recommendations that children receive multiple vaccines in the same office visit, the CDC hasn’t required safety testing of the vaccines in these combinations. [39] Without conducting this testing, the safety of the vaccines in these combinations hasn’t been established.

In fact, some of the greatest scientific controversy regarding vaccines may surround two of the vaccines which are the subject of proposed mandates in New York this legislative session:  the influenza vaccine and the Gardasil vaccine.

Approximately half of the claims compensated in the NVICP have been for influenza vaccine injuries. [40] Further, some studies have shown a statistically significant increase in miscarriages when women received an influenza vaccine. [41] Independent journalist Jeremy R. Hammond has recently published a comprehensive four-part series regarding the influenza vaccine (with a fifth and final installment planned) which, in part, reviews claims made about the influenza vaccine in the mainstream media against a wide body of scientific information and the information he cites arguably dispels the notion that the potential risks of receiving the influenza vaccine are outweighed by those associated with foregoing it. [42] His series is an excellent resource for those interested in learning about the potential benefits and risks of the influenza vaccine and it certainly demonstrates the complexity of the risk factors involved.

Scientific evidence also exists which calls into question the assertion that receiving the Gardasil vaccine is less risky than foregoing it. Some of the evidence is discussed in the article posted on May 21, 2019, by CHD entitled, “25 Reasons to Avoid the Gardasil Vaccine.”  Information in the article indicates that the risks related to cervical cancer are outweighed by risks from the vaccine and that the vaccine potentially carries severe adverse effects, such as the risk of diminished fertility. [43]

In light of the complexity and breadth of information that should be considered when making vaccine decisions, anyone considering vaccination may wish to educate him/herself on the issue. Several books have been published recently which set forth useful scientific information concerning the safety, efficacy and necessity of vaccinating in accordance with the CDC schedules. These includes the book Vaccines – A Reappraisal by Dr. Richard Moskowitz, a family physician with over fifty years of experience, which discusses a wide range of information concerning vaccines, such as:  epidemiological research which indicates that vaccines may interfere with the normal development of a healthy immune system; information concerning the role that vaccines can play in causing infectious disease outbreaks; and evidence of the surprisingly low effectiveness levels of many vaccines. [44] Additionally, Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Summarized for Parents and Researchers by Neil Z. Miller contains over 400 peer-reviewed scientific studies regarding vaccines, including, among others, ones indicating harmful effects from certain vaccines, increased risks of certain medical conditions associated with some vaccines, and a protective effect against certain diseases which is conferred by having certain infectious diseases, such as measles and mumps. [45] Further, J.B. Handley’s book How to End the Autism Epidemic contains scientific information indicating potential harm caused by vaccines, particularly focusing on aluminum’s use as an adjuvant in many vaccines and on the evidence of a causal link between vaccines and autism. [46]

States must resist federal vaccine mandates as mandates place decision-making regarding a complex medical intervention in the hands of bureaucrats.

As discussed above, the scientific issues related to vaccines are highly complex. Individuals may wish to retain the right to make vaccination decisions based upon the advice of their chosen medical professionals rather than relinquishing this right to bureaucratic mandates. Further, medical professionals can be most effective when their professional judgment is not interfered with by bureaucrats.

As we have seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, federal regulation becomes ineffective when states enact contradictory policies. If multiple states pass laws that preserve the public’s rights with respect to vaccination decisions, it will become difficult for the federal government to enforce future federal mandates. Such state laws will also undermine the federal narrative and make it more difficult for the feds to generate support for nationwide mandatory vaccine policies.


A8867 was referred to the Assembly Health Committee where it must pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.

Additional Resources

The websites below contain additional information regarding vaccines that you may find helpful.

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