Press Release: RFK, Jr. and National Vaccine Experts to Inform the Maine Legislature on Vaccine Issues

Contact: Ginger Taylor 207-200-8469

May 6, 2015


RFK, Jr. and National Vaccine Experts to Inform the Maine Legislature on Vaccine Issues

AUGUSTA, ME – More than a dozen states have introduced bills that remove the rights of parents to make informed consent decisions regarding vaccination and still send their children to school. These bills have died in all states except for California, Vermont and Maine.

On Monday, May 11th the focus on vaccine choice will turn to Maine as the Joint Committee on Health and Human services will hear three bills on vaccination. LD 606 would remove the rights of parents to exercise a philosophical exemption in order to opt out of one or more of the 8 vaccines required for school enrollment in Maine. LD 471 would require parents to receive “vaccine counseling” on CDC information from a health care provider, and file paperwork with the school system in order to exercise either a philosophical or religious exemption.

However, Maine is considering a measure that the other states are not. Parents, angry at the lack of knowledge that physicians have about vaccine injuries, have joined with Rep. Beth O’Connor to introduce LD 1076, which creates the Maine Vaccine Consumer Protection Program. LD 1076 would require medical personnel to be educated on federal guidelines on vaccine adverse reactions and establish an office at Maine CDC to support vaccine injured families.

Most Americans don’t really understand vaccine safety issues in context,” reports Elizabeth Shardlow of the Maine Coalition for Vaccine Choice. 

“In 1986 Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act that removed the rights of American’s to sue pharmaceutical companies or physicians when a vaccine injury or death occurs. Since then, the medical industry and health officials have failed to teach doctors about vaccine injury.”

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., author of the new book, Thimerosal, Let the Science Speak, will be among those coming to Maine to educate legislators. Kennedy has often said that he is a strong supporter of vaccination, but believes that the safety and corruption issues must be properly addressed.

Hearings on the three bills will start in the Joint Committee on Health and Human Services beginning at 9:30am on Monday May 11th. At noon, families will hold a rally outside the State House featuring Kennedy and a host of other national figures. Scheduled to speak are Professor Mary Holland, Research Scholar and the Director of the NYU Law School Graduate Legal Skills Program, Harry Tembennis, former board member of the National Autism Association, father of a government compensated boy who died as a result of the DTaP, Mark Blaxill, author of two books on vaccination, and Representative Robert Foley of Wells, Maine who lost his infant daughter following vaccination.

We earnestly hope the pubic will join us to tell the Maine Legislature that even for those who fully vaccinate their children, vaccine safety and vaccine choice are a high priority for Maine parents,” said Shardlow. “Where there is risk, there must be a choice.”

Following the hearings, Kennedy and film maker Eric Gladen will screen the new documentary, “Trace Amounts,” at the University of Maine, Augusta in the Jewett Auditorium at 6pm. Trace Amounts is the true story of Eric Gladen’s painful journey through mercury poisoning that he believes resulted from a thimerosal-loaded tetanus shot. His discoveries led him on a quest for the scientific truth about the role of mercury poisoning in the Autism epidemic.

Legislators will be seated first, followed by members of the public. The film will be followed by a panel discussion on vaccination and vaccine policy, featuring Kennedy, Gladen, Holland, Blaxill, Tembenis and Taylor, and all will be available for interviews at the rally and at the screening.

Maine Coalition for Vaccine Choice

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