by Tiffany Baer, MD
In July 2016, in California, a mandatory vaccination law (Senate Bill 277) took effect. The law mandates that every child, entering certain grade levels, must have a specific set of vaccinations in order to attend class.(1) The law applies to children in both public and private schools—including Waldorf schools. If a child is missing even one of the mandated vaccines, the child will not be permitted in class. A medical exemption is possible but only if a licensed MD or DO (Doctor of Osteopathy) will affirm that, in the case of a particular child, the vaccination may do more harm than good.
This draconian law and its enactment in the most liberal state in the United States illustrates some interesting aspects of the current debate about childhood vaccinations. The bill was introduced and passed soon after a minor epidemic of measles broke out near Disneyland in the southern part of the state. One hundred and forty-seven persons were affected, but no one died. However, because measles is now seldom seen in the U.S., the outbreak caused a panic. The media, much as it had done with the Ebola virus the previous year, did what it could to alarm the public about the real or imagined dangers associated with measles. The public and the media have largely forgotten that fifty years ago measles was considered a benign disease of childhood and in developed countries is rarely fatal.
At the time, of the Disneyland outbreak, California’s vaccination rate was almost 95%. Nevertheless, SB277 was soon drafted and started making its way through the state senate. The writer of the bill and its main supporter was state senator Richard Pan. An article appeared in The Sacramento Bee, the capital city’s daily newspaper. It contained the following:
Receiving more than $95,000, the top recipient of (pharmaceutical)
industry campaign cash is Senator Richard Pan, a Sacramento
Democrat and doctor who is carrying the vaccine bill. Leading
pharmaceutical companies also spent nearly $3 million more during the
2013-2014 legislative session, lobbying the legislature, the governor,
the state pharmacists’ board, and other agencies, according to state
This was a clear conflict of interest—a state senator receiving funds from a pharmaceutical company while drafting a bill mandating their vaccine products. Similar bills are now appearing in many other states across the country, in what appears to be an orchestrated effort.
Before SB277, certain childhood vaccinations were required. However,
parents could avoid the vaccination requirement by claiming that they were against vaccinations on religious or philosophical grounds. By filing a Personal Belief Exemption (PBE), they could retain their freedom in making health decisions for their children. This option no longer exists. Parents have the following choices:
1. have their children vaccinated fully, according to the law
2. keep their children out of school, i.e., homeschool them , or
3. move to another state—as some parents have done and others are considering
A fourth but very challenging option is to get a medical exemption (ME). This can be obtained if a physician will affirm that the risks of vaccination outweigh the benefits. The medical exemption can be applied to a child who seems at special risk from vaccinations. A child who has had an adverse reaction to a previous vaccination—the onset of allergies or an autoimmune response in which the immune system starts to attack the body’s healthy cells—might qualify. A child whose family history indicates a genetic vulnerability to vaccinations might also get an ME.
However, it is not easy to find a physician who will approve a medical exemption. The medical community has been taught that vaccines are necessary and totally safe and that adverse events are rare. Most physicians will provide an ME only to children who have experienced a severe adverse reaction or immune system impairment traceable to a vaccination. But such a cause-effect relationship is hard to prove. Symptoms occurring within 24-48 hours after a vaccination, especially life-threatening events like anaphylaxis (allergic reactions) or seizures, are the most common events that are recognized and reported by a physician. But many parents observe neurologic (disorders of the nervous system), behavioral, and other pathological symptoms days or weeks after the vaccine. Commonly, a parent who witnesses a vaccine reaction in their child and brings the child to the doctor, hears, “It’s just a coincidence. These symptoms are not related to the vaccine.” Many parents seeking an ME are being told that their child doesn’t qualify. Because physicians, in general, do not get any education about vaccines in medical school and aren’t trained to recognize vaccine reactions, there are differing opinions about what constitutes a reaction. New research implicates adjuvants (chemicals added to vaccines) and autoimmunity.
To date, there has been no study comparing vaccinated children and
unvaccinated children over their lifetimes. Most clinical trials looking for vaccine adverse effects examine short follow-up periods (weeks to months). However, autoimmune issues can take years to evolve. There has never been a comprehensive safety study that looks at the cumulative effects of multiple vaccines over time.
Although the medical establishment, the pharmaceutical industry, and, in general, the media, continue to assert the safety of vaccines, there is a federal apparatus that for the last thirty years has been acknowledging the real dangers of vaccines. In 1986, the United States Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which gave vaccine manufacturers a liability shield. The law stipulates that an individual cannot sue a vaccine manufacturer for damage caused by its vaccine. If parents decide to take legal action, they must apply to a special Federal claims court for injury compensation. If the court declares that a child was injured by a vaccine, the parents are compensated through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).
Since 1988, over 16,729 petitions have been filed with the VICP. During a twenty-seven year period, of the 14,397 petitions which have been resolved, 4,482 were determined to be compensable, and 9,915 were dismissed. In other words, almost 4500 cases of vaccination related injury have been recognized as valid. The total compensation paid over the life of the program is approximately $3.3 billion. (3)
The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) currently is used by the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to collect data on vaccine injuries, once the vaccines are on the market. This passive surveillance system relies on reporting from health professionals or patients to report adverse events related to vaccines. Federal law requires doctors and other vaccine providers to report hospitalizations, injuries, deaths, and serious health problems following vaccination to VAERS. But due to lack of knowledge about the system and uncertainty about what constitutes a vaccine reaction, it is estimated that less than 10 percent of all vaccine-related health problems are ever reported to VAERS.(4)
The goal of the vaccine industrial complex is to add new vaccines to the schedule in order to eradicate as many childhood infectious diseases as possible. The rationale for vaccines is that there is no perceptible benefit from the process of disease. Vaccines are used to prevent an individual from experiencing the disease process with its inherent risks, discomfort, and suffering.
Anthroposophic medicine has a different view of childhood infectious diseases. These diseases are opportunities for the body to remodel and rebuild itself into a more individuated, permeable vessel for the Ego, or individual Spirit of the child. Combatting disease naturally also allows the immune system to mature and for the child to acquire permanent immunity. Moreover, fevers are viewed as beneficial, exercising the cellular immune system to discharge that which doesn’t serve the Ego. Fevers accelerate the elimination of accumulated toxins, such as sweat, mucus, pus, diarrhea, and rashes. Each fever process allows the Ego or Spirit to penetrate more deeply into the physical body. Thus infectious diseases are not to be avoided. Except in rare dangerous situations, fevers should not be suppressed by drugs such as tylenol. Treatment involves supporting the body with diet changes, gentle detoxification, and natural remedies.
Measles provides a good example. The child who contracts measles needs to take a developmental step. The Ego of the child is ready to incarnate more deeply into the physical body that will carry it through life. The immune system responds on two levels—the cellular and the humoral. The cellular response is active when the child experiences acute inflammatory symptoms, including a runny nose, chills, sweats, fever, malaise, and a whole-body rash. The rash indicates that toxins are being expelled through the skin. The humoral response is manifest when, after the child has recovered, antibodies to the disease are found in the blood. This is proof that the child has “won”—through an inner struggle—lifelong immunity. The humoral function, responsible for antibody production, will remember the measles virus and if exposed to it again in the future will be able to expel it without the need for another battle. Here Anthroposophic medicine recognizes that the incarnating Spirit, the “I am,” is always wishing to come into a deeper relationship with the physical body, so that the body becomes the effective instrument of the Spirit.
From the point of view of Anthroposophic medicine, vaccinations, regulations about vaccination, and especially a law like SB277, which requires universal childhood vaccinations, are very problematic. Vaccinations deprive the growing child of the opportunity to go through the maturing process of a benign disease such as measles. Although the media perpetuates fear about measles, deaths from measles in the United States declined dramatically, even before the measles vaccine came on the market in 1963. As nutrition improves, complications from measles diminish.(5)
Also, vaccinations present real, documented dangers. There are many studies linking vaccines to allergies, asthma, seizures, blood disorders, autism, auto-immune disease and neurologic diseases.(6,7) In recent decades, paralleling the increase in vaccinations, the country has experienced an epidemic of allergies, autism, auto-immune disease, and other neurological and behavioral disorders. In addition, vaccines don’t provide 100% immunity. This is the reason booster shots are often required. Even in populations with 95-100% vaccination rates, outbreaks still occur. This puts into question the theory of “herd immunity,” which hold that if a high percentage of individuals in a community are vaccinated against a disease, everyone, vaccinated or no, will be protected.( 8)
There is an especially troubling link between vaccinations and autism. In 2000, the CDC conducted a study using the Vaccine Safety Databank containing vaccination and demographic data on over 400,000 infants. The study was designed to determine whether infants who were exposed to ethylmercury from thimerosal-containing vaccines were at increased risk of neurological disorders. Most vaccines in America used to contain thimerosal, which is a mercury-based preservative that prevents the growth of germs. Thimerosal contains the mercury compound ethylmercury. One conclusion of the study was that infants exposed to the highest cumulative exposure to mercury were at increased risk of autism. Instead of publicizing the results to warn the public, the CDC chose not to publish or publicize. (9) Even though thimerosal was supposed to be removed from childhood vaccines in the US in 2001, it still is used in the multi-dose flu vaccine, which continues to be recommended for children and pregnant women. (10) The CDC continues to vigorously deny any link between vaccinations and autism.
More recently, Rep. Bill Posey of Florida spoke on the House floor:
In August 2014, Dr. William Thompson, a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, worked with a whistleblower attorney to provide my office with documents related to a 2004 CDC study that examined the possibility of a relationship between [the] mumps, measles, rubella vaccine and autism. In a statement released in August, 2014, Dr. Thompson stated, ‘I regret that my co-authors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics.’
In other words, CDC scientists skewed research data in favor of vaccinations!
Another troubling aspect of SB277 is that it deprives families of their
freedom of choice in health matters. Parents cannot decide what goes into the body of their child. Laws such as SB277 deprive us of our basic rights as free citizens. Parents who choose not to subject their child to a set of vaccinations that are of dubious value and that may even be harmful cannot have that child educated in a school. The powers aligned behind the vaccination agenda—the pharmaceutical industry, the regulating federal and state agencies, and the mainstream medical establishment and the media—are formidable.
Soon after SB277 passed there was an initiative to put the law on the state ballot as a referendum issue to be affirmed or repealed by the people of California. Many people signed the petition at the time but not enough to get the proposal on the ballot.
However, other means of maintaining health freedom are being sought. There is a new organization in California, called Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC). For more information or to support them, go to www.physiciansforinformedconsent.org. Many physicians who want to preserve health freedom have become members. Before having a medical procedure, taking a drug, or getting a vaccine, patients have the right to informed consent. Informed consent means understanding the risks and benefits and, out of that knowledge, making a choice.
In the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that it is a “sacred and undeniable” truth “that all men are created equal and independent, and that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
SB277 is a warning sign that we have drifted too far from our inalienable rights. California parents have been stripped of one of the most basic rights—to choose whether a pharmaceutical agent (vaccine) is injected into their child’s body. If they say no, the child loses the right to a school education. Where will we go from here?
Tiffany Baer, MD has been long interested in health and healing and received certification in acupressure and massage therapy while still a teenager. She did her medical training at the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel, and is board certified in internal medicine and holistic medicine. Dr. Baer has been practicing occupational medicine at private clinics and at Kaiser Permanente since 2000. In 2013, she completed a five-year medical training program in Anthroposophic medicine. Dr. Baer seeks to treat both acute and chronic conditions naturally, using anthroposophical remedies, dietary recommendations and lifestyle advice, and, as necessary, conventional medicine. She lives in the Bay Area in California.
1. The US recommended vaccine schedule from birth to age 18 years includes: Hepatitis B (series of 3), rotavirus (total of 3), diphtheria (total of 6), tetanus (6), pertussis (6), Haemophilus Influenzae type b (4), Pneumococcal (4), Polio (4), Influenza (yearly, total 18), Measles (2), Mumps (2), Rubella (2), Varicella (chickenpox) (2), Hepatitis A (2), Meningococcal (2), Human Papilloma Virus (3). SB277 requires a subset of 10 out of the 16 vaccines mentioned above, depending on the grade level of the child.
2. Sacramento Bee June 18, 2015
3. US Dept of Health and Human Services. Health Resources and Services Administration Data and Statistics
4. Varricchio F1, Iskander J. Destefano F, Ball R, Pless R, Braun MM, Chen RT. Understanding Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 2004;23(4):287-94.
5. Dissolving Illusions; Suzanne Humphries, MD, Roman Bystrianyk, 2013 CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
6. Critical Vaccine Studies; Neil Z. Miller, 2016 New Atlantean Press
7. Vaccines and Autoimmunity, Yehuda Shoenfeld, Nancy Agmon-Levin and Lucija Tomljenovic. Wiley-Blackwell, 2015.
8. “Although the evidence for vaccination-based herd immunity is yet to materialize, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. Just a single publication by Poland & Jacobson (1994) reports on 18 different measles outbreaks throughout North America, occurring in school populations with very high vaccination coverage for measles (71% to 99.8%). In these outbreaks, vaccinated children constituted 30% to 100% of measles cases. Many more similar outbreaks, occurring after 1994, can be found by searching epidemiologic literature.” Excerpt from Herd Immunity Myth or Reality by Tetyana Obukhanych, PhD “© [April 5, 2014] GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Those wishing to receive the GreenMedInfo newsletter can subscribe at:
9. Abstract: http://www.thinktwice.com/CDC quashed study.pdf