NJ Health Council Votes Dec. 10 On New Vaccine Mandates
by Barbara Loe Fisher
The New Jersey Public Health Council is scheduled to meet on Monday, December 10, 2007 at 11 a.m. to vote on whether to approve adoption of rules written by the New Jersey Department of Health that would require children to get three doses of pneumoccocal vaccine and two doses of influenza vaccine to attend daycare or pre-school and one dose each of tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (TdaP) and meningococcal vaccine to attend sixth grade. If the Council votes to approve the new mandates sought by state public health officials, the mandates will apply to all children entering daycare or school on September 1, 2008.The NJ Public Health Council meeting will be held on Dec. 10 at 11 a.m in the Auditorium (1st Floor) of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Market and Warren Streets, Trenton, New Jersey. New Jersey would become the first state to require influenza vaccine for daycare and pre-school and the first state to require meningococcal vaccine for sixth graders if the new mandates are approved by the Council. The additional nine doses of vaccines would be added to 26 doses of vaccines (diphtheria (4), tetanus (4), pertussis (4), HIB (3), measles (2), mumps (1), rubella (1), polio (3), hepatitis B (3), chicken pox (1)) the State already requires for daycare or school, bringing the total to 35 doses of 13 mandated vaccines.
The NJ Department of Health has the power under rule making authority given to the agency by the NJ state legislature to mandate new vaccines after holding public hearings and taking public comments. A public hearing was held on these proposed new vaccine mandates on Jan. 26, 2007 and the public comment period ended on Feb. 16. 2007. A 125 page summary of the public hearing and public comments received by the health department reveals that the majority of the 103 comments from the public opposed the new vaccine mandates.
Supporters of the mandates included state public health and education officials, the American Academy of Pediatrics and vaccine manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, which markets three of the new vaccines that would be required (TdaP, influenza and meningococcal vaccines), among others. In a memo from retiring NJ Commissioner of Health, Fred Jacobs, M.D., J.D. to Herbert Yardley, Chair of the NJ Public Health Council, Jacobs notes that “Some parents rights groups, vaccine critics, autism advocacy organizations and alternative medicine practitioners will likely continue to oppose existing requirements, these recently adopted new vaccine requirements, and future immunization requirements as they have since the mid-1980’s….There is increasing resistance from the public on new state vaccine mandates and a demand for more informed parental choice in vaccinations for children….”
Exemptions to vaccination in New Jersey include a medical exemption that must be written by a medical doctor or a religious exemption, which requires citizens to write a letter explaining how vaccination “conflicts with the pupil’s exercise of bona fide religious tenets or practices.” The law makes it clear that a “general philosophical or moral objection” to receiving one or more vaccines “shall not be sufficient for an exemption on religious grounds.” The law further states that “religious affiliated schools or child care centers shall have the authority to withhold or grant a religious exemption” for students attending their schools “without challenge by any secular health authority.” http://www.nvic.org/state- site/NewJersey.htm
The citizens of New Jersey have not had an opportunity to vote, through their elected representatives, on whether they want their children to be required to be injected with nine more doses of vaccines or be denied an education. The power to add or remove vaccine mandates currently resides entirely in the hands of employees of the NJ Health Department and members of the NJ Public Health Council.
NJ Health Commissioner Fred Jacobs can be contacted at
NJ Public Health Council Chair, Herbert Yardley, who is also the Health Officer for Sussex County, can be contacted at email@example.com
The Governor of New Jersey, Joe Corzine, can be reached at
If you want to change the way new vaccines are mandated in your state and/or support the addition of conscientious belief exemption to state vaccine laws, you must work with the state legislators you have elected to represent you. If you are a resident of New Jersey and want to let your state legislators know how you feel about nine more doses of vaccines being added to vaccine mandates, go to
The National Vaccine Information Center has been working in New Jersey and many states as well as nationally since 1982 to educate citizens and their elected representatives about the need to institute vaccine safety and informed consent protections in the U.S. mass vaccination system. Some states have formed local groups, such as the New Jersey Alliance for Informed Choice in Vaccination (www.NJAICV.org) headed by co-founder Sue Collins.
The National Vaccine Information Center stands with other parent organizations such as ACHAMP, Generation Rescue, TACA, NAA, Holistic Moms Network and others in opposing new vaccine mandates for children in New Jersey and supports the addition of conscientious belief exemption to vaccination in New Jersey and all states. If you are interested in working to educate citizens in your community and state about vaccination and the need for informed consent protections in your state laws, contact NVIC at NVICinfo@gmail.com
To report a vaccine reaction, go to www.NVIC.org
and to post a vaccine reaction report on NVIC’s International Memorial for Vaccine Victims, go www.vaccinememorial.org
Learn more about vaccines, diseases and how to protect your informed consent rights at www.nvic.org