The Senate Human Resources Committee passed Senate File 125, a bill that would require a question about vaccinations be added to the medical examiner’s investigation form for infants 0-3 years old.
The question would simply ask about the date and type of the last vaccination. If more than one vaccination was provided, then all types of immunizations would be listed.
Democrat State Sen. Joe Bolkcom spoke against the bill. He said any time an infant dies it is a tragedy and people grieve.
“I appreciate the concern that people have about that. When there is an infant death we have a really extensive process in place to investigate infant deaths,” he said.
Bolkcom said the medical examiner already has the ability to look at all medical records of the child.
“Now, I know there are people that are concerned about the impact of vaccinations on children,” he said. “And we have a very extensive system right now where if you have a child vaccinated and you think there’s an adverse effect there’s a process in place to report that.”
Bolkcom added that if a vaccine were doing any damage to kids, we would know because of VAERS.
“We have a system right now that I think does a good job of trying to provide information to parents seeking it that are concerned about vaccinations,” he said.
Bolkcom took issue with claims that vaccinations cause SIDS.
“Well, the data don’t show that,” he said. “The research that’s been done doesn’t show that. The research says there’s not even a link to that. OK? So, when I look at this bill, and we’re going to collect some data, we’re going to force the medical examiner to collect some data when vaccination was, there is really no legitimate or scientific use of that data.”
Bolkcom listed off a number of healthcare organizations that are opposed to the bill before taking aim at the one group listed in favor of the legislation.
“That’s our friends at Informed Choice,” he said. “And as you know, Informed Choice is really pretty, pretty hesitant about vaccinations if not downright discourages people from getting vaccinations.”
He then said the bill’s purpose is really to deceive people.
“And to scare people from getting vaccinated,” he said. “It’s really that simple. Proponents want to data-mine. They want to go into the medical examiner’s record and do their own research to try and scare people and in the case of grieving parents, contact grieving parents to try and give them some sort of information about the real reason their infant is no longer with us. But really there’s more to it than that. The ultimate goal I think of this bill is to discourage people from getting vaccinated more broadly.
“We know that vaccines save lives. I think what do we have, like 17 diseases now. You know, science and medicine has advanced since the 1950s. We need more than two or three or four shots if we want to fight off some of these diseases we’ve learned to understand pretty dramatically over the years. So, vaccines have been proven to save lives.
“And here we are in the middle of an uncontrolled pandemic, more than 5,000 people have died, and we’re on this race to save lives – the vaccines are here, there are not enough of them, shortage everywhere. But I think if you listen to the medical experts, which I know you listen to, we’re in a race to save lives. We’re in a race to encourage people to get vaccinated.”
Bolkcom said reports so far say only 50 percent of people are willing to take the shot right now.
“They’re hesitant. They’re concerned. They’re wondering if the research was done,” he said. “I think the record would show the research is done. The vaccinations are effective and we want during a global uncontrolled pandemic for people to get shots. So, as I sit here and look at this bill today, I think the timing is pretty cynical. A bill that’s going to discourage people ultimately from getting vaccinated during a global pandemic seems to be the wrong track.
“We’re in this age of conspiracy theories. We saw a bunch of those folks, some were from Iowa, go to the United States Capitol last month. Conspiracy theories. And I want to just say that we can pretend like this bill makes sense, or we can see it for what it is. It’s pushing forward some bad science that isn’t going to really provide much relief to any grieving parent ultimately.”
Republican Sen. Jim Carlin, who managed the bill, provided a strong defense of the legislation. Carlin referenced the subcommittee hearing in which a medical examiner admitted he did not document any vaccination information for any of the infant autopsies he performed in the last year.
“That’s the problem right there,” Carlin said. “Zero. Zero documentation.”
Carlin said the CDC, which Democrats cite a lot, said listing documentation on an infant’s medical history including immunization history is a minimum to consider in infant death investigations.
“It’s a minimum standard,” Carlin said. “We’re not asking for anything gout of the ordinary. We’re asking that the minimum standard be observed.
“Now this is the CDC recognizing the importance of a correlation between Sudden Infant Death and vaccinations within 72 hours of the time of death – this is not some conspiracy theory,” Carlin said. “Did they have any vaccinations within 72 hours of death? Why is the CDC asking that question? Because they know there’s a correlation or potential for correlation.”
For families who lose a child and then have additional children, there are genetic similarities.
“Am I just supposed to put my children that I have after I’ve already lost a child at risk without having the benefit of any data or information,” Carlin said. “You know, we keep hearing ‘science’ be quoted. Well, you know what good science is? Good science is good data. Do you know what bad science is? It’s hyperbole without data. So, this is a good bill.”
All five Democrats on the committee voted against the bill.