WASHINGTON, Oct 10, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) today criticized California Governor Jerry Brown for bowing to pressure from the pharmaceutical and medical trade lobby and signing a controversial bill (AB499) into law that allows 12 year old children to be vaccinated without the knowledge or consent of their parents. The new California law allows minor children as young as 12 years old to be given Gardasil and hepatitis B vaccine, as well as future vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases, without the informed consent of their parents.
“The law, which Governor Brown must take personal responsibility for enacting, is a violation of parental rights and federal vaccine safety law,” said NVIC co-founder and president Barbara Loe Fisher. “He has done what a lot of powerful people are doing today in America, which is making it easy for big corporations and trade organizations, including doctors and drug companies protected from vaccine injury lawsuits, to exploit ordinary people to increase influence and profits. This law will put the lives of minor children too young to make medical decisions at risk. California parents, who will not be informed before their minor children are given vaccines, will be the ones left to deal with the consequences legally and financially if their child becomes vaccine injured.”
The National Vaccine Information Center worked with Congress to secure vaccine safety provisions in the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, including the requirement for doctors and vaccine providers to fully inform parents about vaccine side effects before minor children are vaccinated. The 1986 law, which created a federal vaccine injury compensation program that has awarded more than $2 billion to the vaccine injured, also mandated that doctors and all vaccine providers record and report vaccine adverse effects to the government to help reduce vaccine injuries and deaths.
NVIC Director of Advocacy, Dawn Richardson, who designed NVIC’s online Advocacy Portal ( www.NVICAdvocacy.org ), worked with families in California to provide Governor Brown and the public with information about why the proposed legislation violated parents’ long held legal right to make medical decisions for their minor children. “Governor Brown’s signing of this legislation signals a negative trend in state public health policy making. Big Pharma has been working behind the scenes in California, Washington and other states to take away parental rights and vaccine exemptions,” said Richardson. “Under federal law, parents are supposed to get vaccine information before their children are vaccinated to help minimize risks and this new California law raises, rather than reduces, vaccine risks for children.”