As expected, legislators around the country are submitting bills we call, “Ethan Lindenberger: Throw-Mama-under-the-Bus-Bills” and New York was one of the first with Senator Liz Krueger (D-Upper Eastside) submitting Senate Bill S4244 and Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (D-Albany) introducing A6564, which would allow minors fourteen and older to obtain vaccines mandated to attend school in NY (hepatitis B, polio, MMR, HIB, Prevnar, meningococcal ACWY, DTP, chicken pox) without parental knowledge or consent.
Please call the sponsors of the legislation and politely ask them to reconsidered their bills:
Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, (518) 455-4178 tweet her at @PatriciaFahy109
State Senator Liz Krueger, (518) 455-2297
So far the bill has been co-sponsored by Senators Alessandra Biaggi and Toby Ann Stavisky, and in the Assembly by Assemblymembers Andrew Hevesi, Pat Burke, William Magnarelli, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Inez Dickens and Harvey Epstein.
And please click on the Take Action Link to send a message to your elected officials asking them to oppose the bill.
The impetus for this bill, and the others like it that are popping up around the country, was the media storm created around Ethan Lindenberger, a young man who was raised with a limited number of vaccines, who decided to become fully vaccinated when he turned 18. The media deluge began with a post from Lindenberger on Reddit, “My parents are kind of stupid and don't believe in vaccines. Now that I'm 18, where do I go to get vaccinated? Can I get vaccinated at my age?” The first of many media messages by Lindenberger where he heaped derision on his mother. His public hate campaign culminated in his appearance at the recent US Senate hearings on vaccines.
This bill would only apply to the children of parents who have religious or medical exemptions from vaccine mandates or homeschooled children. So clearly this is intended to undermine parents rights to make medical decisions for their children, and to raise their children in accordance with their religious beliefs.
Fahy currently has a press release on her official Assembly webpage entitled, “NY Bill would let Teens who disagree with Parent’s “Dangerous Anti-Immunization Pseudo-science” to get vaccinated.” But beyond the contempt for parents and religious rights, huge safety issues would be created, if the bill was passed, that the authors clearly never considered in their haste to jump on the Lindenberger bandwagon.
Do minors know their own medical history, and their family’s medical history, well enough to provide informed consent? Lindenberger himself claimed to have received no vaccines, but his mother said he had received a limited number.
Would a teenager know if they have had adverse reactions in the past and should avoid a particular vaccine?
Would they know if they are allergy to vaccine ingredients?
The CDC says that people with a history of auto-immune disease in their family should avoid the MMR. Would a minor know if there is a history of asthma, diabetes, or other autoimmune disorders? Lindenberger says he has asthma, an auto-immune disorder, which could contraindicate the MMR.
In the event of an adverse reaction, especially if a child is unconscious, how is a parent, first responder, or other healthcare professionals supposed to provide appropriate medical care to the child?
There is nothing in this law that would prevent a minor from consenting to receiving an experimental vaccine.
There is nothing in this law that would prevent minors with developmental disabilities from “consenting” to a vaccine.
There is nothing to prevent minors with a medical exemptions who should not receive vaccines from gettng vaccinated?
There could also be conflicts with federal law. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act requires that a Vaccine Information Statement be given to a minor’s parents prior to vaccination, and the Vaccines for Children Act, which pays for most of the vaccines give in the US, cannot be used to pay for vaccines given to children covered by private insurance.
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