From the May 2001 Idaho Observer:

Governor proclaims “Infant Immunization Month”

Idaho children now registering for school at the local health district

SANDPOINT -- An April 18, 2001 Associated Press article tells the nation that Idaho ranks last in compliance with child immunization mandates. In keeping with this shocking piece of news, Governor Kempthorne signs the following proclamation declaring April as Idaho Infant Immunization Month.

Despite the fact that the Governor's office has been sent numerous letters as well as a postcard campaign asking him to do further research into the very real safety and efficacy issues surrounding vaccines, to date, these requests have been ignored. Instead, the police powers of the state have reacted in violation of state law by forcing the ignorant into compliance with their dictates.

Vaccination Liberation has received numerous phone calls and emails attesting to the fact that schools and agencies throughout the state are telling parents that vaccines are mandatory in this state even though Idaho Code clearly allows for exemptions. Idaho Code 39-4804 states that a parent or guardian must be notified before an immunization is administered to any child in this state that:

1) Immunizations are not mandatory and may be refused on religious grounds or OTHER grounds;

2) Participation in the immunization registry is voluntary;

3) The parent or guardian is entitled to an accurate explanation of the complications known to follow immunization.

As a result of Bonner County having the lowest immunization rates in the state and, therefore, the country, the Bonner Daily Bee announced that registration for elementary school children would take place on May 2, 2001, at the Panhandle Health District. Parents who registered their children for school on that day were told that immunizations were mandatory for school registration and were not told of the risks associated with the various “required” shots -- a direct violation of state law.

Numerous children were given multiple injections, overloading their immune systems and putting their lives at risk. VacLib received a call from a mother of a five-year-old who had taken her child to the Panhandle Health District to be registered for school. She was told she needed MMR, DTaP and IPV shots in order to register for school. She took her daughter to her pediatrician who proceeded to administer all three shots at the same time. When she questioned her doctor regarding the safety of her child receiving so many at one time, her fears were allayed when he told her it was perfectly safe and then he told her to expect a few reactions including seizures, as though these were normal reactions.

Her daughter began hallucinating, throwing up and was running a temperature of 103 degrees. When she called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hotline she was given, the woman was very cold and told her that what her daughter was experiencing was not a reaction to the shots unless the reaction occurred within one hour or exactly 24 hours after injection.

She was never told that the shots were not mandatory or the risks associated with the shots. Furthermore, we were told that her son was sent home from school last year since he had not received a Hepatitis B vaccine. She never informed that the shot was not mandatory or the risks associated with this shot, either.

Are we to believe that the East Bonner County School District and the Panhandle Health District are ignorant of the law or are they making a conscious choice to ignore the law?

School district funding is based on student attendance and the state health districts can declare an epidemic in any of our schools if just one vaccinated child comes down with a “vaccine-preventable” disease. When this occurs, the health district has the authority to force the school district to send home all unvaccinated children for two weeks or until the “threat” has passed.

This equates to a sizeable amount of state funds being lost if a significant number of students claim exemptions to shots under state law. The logical conclusion is that our school districts are being held hostage by Governor Kempthorne and our state's health departments.

Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, said, “Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship....The Constitution of this Republic shall make special provision for medical freedom as well as religious freedom.”

Unfortunately, the other “signers” didn't have the foresight of Benjamin Rush.

It is high time we all write to Governor Kempthorne and demand that he keep his campaign promise of “facing facts and finding answers.” (See Letters to the Editor page 21.)


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