Sen. Guth talks about Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System

Democrat Mascher wants to eliminate religious exemption from vaccines

Republican Sen. Dennis Guth spoke from the floor of the Iowa Senate on Tuesday morning about the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). The system was included in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 as a location for post-market reporting of injuries and deaths that occur due to vaccination.

“Since 1986, $4 billion has been paid out for injuries or deaths from vaccinations,” Guth said. “Last year in Iowa there were 341 reports of adverse events. However, according to a study done by Ross Lazarus, the associate professor in population medicine at Harvard Medical School, fewer than 1 percent of vaccine adverse events are reported. Low reporting rates preclude or slow the identification of problem drugs and vaccines that endanger public health.”

Guth said new surveillance methods are needed. He said the 341 reports last year in Iowa likely represent more than 30,000 adverse events in the state of Iowa.

“The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System is the sole source of information to the government on the safety of the CDC’s vaccine schedule,” Guth said. “As no safety study has ever been performed on the entire 72 recommended dose schedule. This was acknowledged in July.

“The Department of Health and Human Services federally, acknowledged that for the past 32 years it has failed to issue even one biannual report as required by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. Since 1986 they have been required every two years to report injuries and what they have done to improve the safety of vaccines and have not done that as required by law for 32 years. This has failed to produce even one safety report.”

Guth encouraged the Iowa Senate to seek more information regarding the information.

Guth has filed two bills regarding vaccines. One is Senate File 238, which is an act establishing the Vaccination Safety and Right of Refusal Act. It prohibits a hospital or health care facility from discriminating against or terminating the employment of a health care provider, staff members, employee or applicant for one of these positions based on the person’s refusal to receive an immunization.

Sen. Brad Zaun joined Guth on Senate File 239. That act provides exemptions from immunization for a person’s enrollment in any elementary or secondary school or licensed child care center.

This bill amends the existing medical exemption provision to require the statement signed by the health care professional and submitted to the admitting official must state that the immunizations required could, rather than would, be injurious to the health and well-being of the applicant or any member of the applicant’s family.

It also amends the existing religious exemption provision to provide that the affidavit signed and submitted must state that the immunization conflicts with the religious beliefs of the applicant, not the tenets and practices of a recognized religious denomination of which the applicant is an adherent or member.

On the House side, Rep. Mary Mascher has proposed House File 206, which would eliminate the exemption from required immunization for a person’s enrollment in any elementary or secondary school or licensed child care center relating to conflicts with the tenets and practices of a recognize religious denomination of which the applicant is an adherent or member.