Letters to the Editor 2019

To the Editor:

S2173 is a bill in the N.J. Legislature that will remove religious exemption to vaccination and strip away the religious freedom of thousands of New Jersey families.

It will allow for vaccination in a school setting, without parental consent. It will remove the physician/patient relationship and put a medical exemption in the hands of the Board of Health, with strict guidelines making it nearly impossible to get a medical exemption.

It will violate the Constitution, discriminate, isolate and segregate children, ultimately denying them the right to a public, private or higher education.

Certain senators, who are in favor of this bill, have made claims that this is for the “greater good” or in the best interest of “public health.” They “use” the immunocompromised to push an agenda that has the potential to harm children of all ages.

Consider what Michael J. Master, DC, MPH, FACFN, FABCDD, private-practice clinician and epidemiologist, who practices in New Jersey, has to say about the Immunocompromised.

 “Legislative measures typically ensue under the guise of benevolent public policy elements deemed to being sound. However, the case for S2173 does not lend toward sound public policy, due to stripping individual rights so to grant faux protection to another important minority group, mainly immunocompromised children.

"It is well established, from a public health perspective, that the vaccination status, or lack thereof, as it pertains to children within schools or the community, certainly does not foster a significant risk to immunocompromised children. One reason is due to many vaccines being unable to prevent the very transmission of viruses or bacteria targeted. For example, individuals vaccinated for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP), as well as the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) can still be carriers of such microorganisms, despite having mild to no symptoms within the community."

 According to the CDC and research literature, flu vaccines are notorious for having meager efficacy rates, mainly due to type replacement mutations. Nevertheless, to date, cases are essentially non-existent regarding immunocompromised individuals succumbing to an infectious transmission via unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals, fortunately.

Therefore, if vaccines provide incomplete protection at best, then where are all of the dangerous school outbreaks that demonstrate immunocompromised individuals being infected by the unvaccinated?

Unfortunately, the argument that vaccines protect immunocompromised individuals falsely implies complete community protection. Moreover, allowing such sweeping legislative changes by removing religious freedoms, is based solely upon an irrational hypothetical scenario.

However, it is worth noting that should an immunocompromised child or person succumb to a vaccine-preventable infection, there is an established, and effective, medical intervention known as immune globulin, which has been utilized effectively for decades, especially during the pre-vaccine era, to help those with compromised immune systems.”

 I would also like to add that families of the immunocompromised are exempt from certain vaccines as it states in vaccine inserts, as well as on signs in hospitals, that vaccines shed and can actually put the immunocompromised at risk.