The Maine Vaccine Consumer Protection Program Introduced in the 2019 Maine Legislative Session

As in 2015, The Maine Vaccine Consumer Protection Program bill has been submitted to the Maine State Legislature.

Some legislators have not yet come to understand that the conflict over vaccine uptake is not lack of parental understanding on vaccine safety and efficacy, it is the lack of physician and public health understanding on vaccine safety and efficacy, and the fact that the vaccine injury epidemic is not being addressed.  Rep. Ralph Tucker has announced that he will be bringing a bill to repeal the philosophical and religious exemptions for school entry, and throw children out of school, rather than addressing the myriad of problems in the current liability-free vaccine program.

Again in 2019, the solution based Maine Coalition for Vaccine Choice, and our informed partners in the Maine State Legislature, will be presenting An Act to Enact the Maine Vaccine Consumer Protection Program, to address the true reasons for vaccine rejectionism.  Rather than trying to sweep 30 years of unaddressed problems under the carpet, and impairing the education of children, it is time for Maine to become a leader in vaccine safety, by implementing long overdue vaccine program reform.

The 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, and the Supreme Court ruling Bruesewitz v Wyeth that sided with Pharma, removed the rights of individuals to sue in cases of vaccine injury and death, and closed the courthouse doors to families with vaccine injured loved ones.  Vaccine injury claims were then moved to the HHS Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. As a result of this freedom from legal accountability, corruption has taken hold in the US vaccine program:

  • The CDC recommended Childhood Vaccine schedule ramped up from 25 to a minimum of 70 doses with no safety testing of the current schedule as a whole
  • The Federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program rejects the vast majority of claims made by families regardless of merit
  • States and families pay for vaccine injury cases that are the responsibility of the federal government
  • HHS has become a vaccine patent holder, while approving, regulating and recommending vaccines, and while and adjudicating vaccine injuries, without disclosing its serious conflicts of interests to consumers
  • Corruption in safety and efficacy claims are being uncovered on an increasing basis:

To remedy this, Maine needs a Vaccine Consumer Protection Act to counter the corruption, misinformation, and attack on families right to informed consent.  The proposed act would:

  • Require doctors to be educated on the full Vaccine Injury Compensation Table and able to properly screen for and diagnose vaccine adverse events
  • Add VICP and the full, and soon to be revised, vaccine injury table to the Maine Immunization Program’s Provider Reference Manual
  • Advertise the VICP in Maine, per recommendation of the 11/14 GAO VICP report
  • Require a Maine State Vaccine Information Sheet for each vaccine which includes all known side effects be given to patient, per vaccine package insert, table and VICP rulings, remind patients of their right to opt out, and offer step by step instructions on what to do if a vaccine injury is suspected.
  • Remove the restrictions on which doctors would be able to write a medical exemption.  Our understanding of vaccine adverse reactions grows as scientific inquiry progresses, such as our new understanding on what pre-existing conditions and genetic variations will put someone at risk for a vaccine adverse event, and should not be codified into law.
  • Establish a vaccine injury office in Maine DHHS separate from the Immunization program that will:
    • Act as an ombudsman for Maine vaccine injury families and clearing house for VICP case data
    • Evaluate vaccine injury claims
    • Provide guidance and a specific process for physicians to follow when a vaccine injury is suspected by their office, or by parents and caregivers
    • Provide referrals to doctors who will evaluate and treat
    • Provide referrals to attorneys who will file in the VICP
    • Recoup MaineCare funds that are spent on vaccine injury cases
    • Establish a complaint and review process for families to ask specific vaccine questions, challenge false vaccine safety and efficacy claims as well as coercion by vaccine providers, and requires DHHS to respond and justify recommendations.

Parents who have known for years that the vaccine program is broken have had their position yet again confirmed by four different in-depth investigative reports into the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program by the US General Accounting Office, Stanford University, Georgetown University, and by the Associated Press; that once you have a vaccine injured child, you are on your own.

It is time to stop blaming parents for not trusting a broken,  liability-free, vaccine program, and to simply begin to fix the vaccine program.

 

The Maine Vaccine Consumer Protection Program
SUMMARY
This bill establishes the Maine Vaccine Consumer Protection Program within the Department of Health and Human Services and describes the services provided under the program.

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 22 MRSA 1067 is enacted to read:

1067. Maine Vaccine Consumer Protection Program

1. DEFINITIONS – As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings:

A. “Health care provider” means a physician, nurse, clinic, hospital or other entity licensed by the state of Maine to provide health care services that administers vaccines.
B. “Office” means the Vaccine Consumer Protection Office established in this section.
C. “Program” and “MVCPP” mean the Maine Vaccine Consumer Protection Program established in this section.
D. “NVICP” means the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
E. “Vaccine Injury Compensation Table” means the Vaccine Injury Table of covered vaccines and associated injuries established by 42 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 100.3 (2000).
F. “CDC” means Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
G. “HRSA” means Health Resources Services Administration
H. “VIS” means Vaccine Information Statement
I. “OCFS” means The Maine Office of Child and Family Services child protect services


2. PROGRAM ESTABLISHED – The
Maine Vaccine Consumer Protection Program is established within the department. The Vaccine Consumer Protection Office is established within the department to carry out the purposes of the program.

3. SERVICES:

A. MAINE VACCINE INJURY OMBUDSMAN OFFICE – Maine must establish, outside of the Maine Immunization Program, a Maine Vaccine Injury Ombudsman Office to assist members of the public who suspect vaccine injury. The Office must;

(i) Be directed by a board, composed of medical providers and vaccine injury victims or their parents/legal guardians, at least half of which are victims and their guardians.

(ii) Provide a pathway for the public to access assessment, diagnosis and treatment of potential vaccine injuries by a physician trained and qualified in vaccine injury assessment, diagnosis and treatment, according to an established standard of care, and refer all members of the public reporting suspected vaccine adverse reactions to these qualified physicians.

(iii) Ensure that Maine has at least one physician per congressional district trained and qualified in vaccine injury assessment, diagnosis and treatment,who will agree to accept, as part of their medical duties, making themselves available to offer expert witness testimony on behalf of vaccine injury victims in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program or civil vaccine injury proceedings.

(iv) Ensure that all physicians, medical providers and vaccine administrators respond to all potential vaccine injury cases brought to their attention by reporting them to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, and referring potential injury victims to the Maine Vaccine Injury Ombudsman Office for evaluation and care.

(v) Establish Maine treatment guidelines and ethical standards and for all medical professionals administering vaccines or caring for vaccinated populations based on information provided by CDC, NVICP, vaccine manufacturer inserts and current research.

(vi) Provide mandatory Continuing Medical Education for vaccine safety and efficacy training, required every three years, for all Maine licensed medical providers based on information provided by CDC, NVICP, vaccine manufacturer inserts and current research.

(vii) Provide a public forum, meeting at least twice per year, on vaccine adverse reactions, that includes members of the impacted population as at least half of its administration.

(viii) Create and maintain a Maine Vaccine Information Sheet that will require the following disclosures and consent.

(I) Before administering a vaccine to a patient, a health care provider must provide the following information to the patient, or to the patient’s parent or legal guardian if the patient is a minor, via the Maine Vaccine Information Statement:

(1) that the patient, or the patient’s parent or guardian if the patient is a minor, may decline some or all vaccines;

(2) that the health care provider administering the vaccine is liable for harm to the patient caused by the vaccine or its administration if they do not follow manufacturer contraindications listed on the vaccine package insert;

(3) that the vaccine manufacturer is not liable for harm to the patient or the death of the patient caused by the vaccine, even if the harm or death was caused by the manufacturer’s negligence in the design of the vaccine;

(4) if a health care provider is administering more than one vaccine in a single visit, that no safety studies have been performed, before or after approval of the vaccine, on the combination of vaccines the provider plans to administer;

(5) vaccine information, for each vaccine being administered; and

(6) if a health care provider plans to administer a vaccine containing mercury, that an alternative vaccine is available that is mercury-free;
(7) that medical, religious and philosophical exemptions are available to families who choose not to administer vaccines that school systems or employers require, so that the individual may remain at their school or place of work if the vaccine or vaccines are not administered.

(II) After providing the disclosures required in paragraph

(1) and before administering a vaccine to a patient, a health care provider must obtain written, informed consent for each vaccine from the patient or the patient’s parent or guardian if the patient is a minor.

(ix)Provide mandatory guidelines for vaccine administration for medical providers, as well as a complaint and censure process in which members of the public have standing to bring complaints against medical professionals when they:

(I) Vaccinate outside package insert, MVCPP, CDC, or HRSA contraindications or age of administration guidelines;

(II) Fail to provide State and Federal VIS document assessment for potential contraindications and adverse reactions prior to vaccine administration;

(III) Fail to provide State and Federal VIS with fully completed documentation required to patients or responsible party prior to vaccine administration;

(IV) Fail to acquire State VIS document written consent for vaccination from responsible party before vaccine administration;

(VII) Fail to report patient reported vaccine adverse event, or suspected vaccine injury, to VAERS, and refer patient or responsible party to MVCPP for proper evaluation;

(VIII) Fail to refer to the state vaccine injury program upon patient report of potential vaccine adverse reaction;

(IX) Fail to report families suspected vaccine adverse reaction to VAERS

(X) Engage in coercive practices as defined by MVCPP guidelines;

(XI) Make public or private vaccine safety and efficacy claims (out side of personal belief claims) to the public or patients that are unsupported by CDC, HRSA, VSB insert information or published research, such as the claim that, “vaccines are safe.”

(XII) Engage in the harassment of patients, guardians or members of the public for their vaccine choices;

(XIII) Vaccinate a child under the age of 18 without the written consent for each vaccine being administered of the child’s parent or legal guardian, or outside the physical presence and supervision of the child’s parent or legal guardian.

4. PROVIDER RIGHTS TO DECLINE TO VACCINATE.— Maine must establish and uphold the right of medical providers to write a medical vaccine exemption, to decline to recommend or administer a vaccine, to choose not to participate in the state or federal vaccine program, and to advocate for potential vaccine injury cases or act as an expert witness for vaccine injury victims, while remaining free of coercion or punitive action.

5. PUBLIC RIGHT OF REFUSAL.— Maine must establish and uphold the right to vaccine refusal and may not include consideration of vaccination refusal choices in OCFS complaints, require vaccine uptake compliance for reunification in OCFS cases, or engage in the use of OCFS to coerce vaccine administration.

6. VACCINE DEATH INVESTIGATION.— Maine must assess for vaccine deaths per a standard of care upon request of next of kin, and supply family with detailed and full report.

7. PROHIBITIONS AGAINST INCENTIVES.— The State must prohibit incentive programs, financial or otherwise, to encourage vaccine uptake, such as higher insurance reimbursement for health care providers and medical practices according to their patient vaccine uptake rates, awards to providers for vaccine uptake rates, payments or rewards to patients or responsible parties for vaccine administration, or any other incentives that would encourage vaccine administration choices based on anything other than the best interests of the individuals receiving the vaccine or vaccines in question.

8. REQUIRE VACCINE PRESCRIPTIONS.— Maine must require a prescription by a licensed medical provider in order for a vaccine to be administered by anyone other than a licensed medical provider.

9. PROHIBITIONS AGAINST STANDING ORDERS.— Maine must prohibit the use of “standing orders,” for vaccines, such as the automatic prescription of vaccines for all patients being admitted to a hospital, emergency room, medical facility or medical practice.

10. ANNUAL REPORTS.— Maine must provide an annual report to the Vaccine Safety Branch of the CDC on the number of vaccine adverse event reports, assessments and diagnosed cases of vaccine injury and death.


11. T
he State must establish and uphold:

(A) RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION.—The State must provide an unrestricted 1st Amendment religious exemption for any and all vaccine mandates that is not subject to review or rejection.

“(B) MEDICAL EXEMPTION.— In light of the rapid advancement of the state of vaccine research, Maine may not define what may constitute a valid medical exemption, may not define specific requirements for medical exemptions, and may not review or reject medical exemptions. Medical exemptions are to remain at the sole discretion of the health care professional providing the assessment of the patient in question.

12. Rules. The department shall adopt rules to implement this section.

Sec. 2 Reference Manual. The Department of Health and Human Services shall add the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and the Vaccine Injury Table covered vaccines and associated injuries established by the 42 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 100.3 (2000) to the Maine Immunization Program’s Provider Reference Manual and web site, created by the department’s division of infectious disease within the Department of Health.

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