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Ducey declares Arizona ‘pro-vaccination’ state, vows to kill vaccine exemption bills

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Gov. Doug Ducey promised today he will not sign several controversial bills moving through the Legislature that could lead to fewer children being vaccinated.

Ducey said he will not sign any legislation that goes against promoting vaccinations.  

“I’m pro-vaccination and anti-measles,” he said.

Specifically, Ducey was referring to three bills proposed by Rep. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, although he didn’t  address the measures individually.

The bills would:

  • Expand vaccination exemptions and eliminate a requirement that parents sign a state form in order for their kids to receive an exemption 
  • Require doctors to offer parents a blood test to determine if their child is already immune
  • Require parents to be given extensive information about the risks of vaccines, including information that is typically reserved for doctors

“I think it’s important for people to know that we are pro-vaccination in the state of Arizona,” Ducey said. “Vaccinations are good for our kids and helpful for public health.”

Ducey’s strongly worded statements were a deviation from his tendency to avoid commenting on pending legislation before it arrives on his desk. And he acknowledged that, saying he felt the need to speak out because vaccinations are a matter of public health.

The governor’s statement likely indicates he would veto the bills if they got to his desk because inaction on his part could cause the bills to become law.

The House Health and Human Services committee advanced the bills last week despite protestations from doctors and medical professionals, who warned the measures would undermine public health.

At the time, Barto said she’s not necessarily opposed to vaccines. “These are not, in my view, anti-vaccine bills,” she said “They are discussions about fundamental individual rights.”

The bills have not yet passed the House, but Ducey made it clear that the measures are ultimately doomed, regardless of the Legislature’s actions.

But Barto’s bills have stirred controversy and concern because the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has confirmed 101 cases of measles from 10 states so far this year, largely among people who either have not had the vaccine or did not have the second dose.

A public health emergency was declared in January in the state of Washington in January, where there have been 55 confirmed cases, virtually all of those in children whose parents had chosen not to vaccinate them.

Some who spoke out against Barto’s bills in committee feared Arizona could become the next state for a measles outbreak if the measures were to become law.

Ducey has become a stronger voice for childhood vaccinations in recent months, saying on the campaign trail that all children should be inoculated against a host of diseases ranging from measles to chickenpox and mumps.  

The governor hasn’t gone so far as to say the state should repeal a provision in law that allows residents to avoid vaccinations for personal reasons. But he has previously said that idea is worth reviewing if increased public education about vaccinations doesn’t increase vaccination rates.

Ducey sidestepped a question about if Arizona has a problem of not enough people getting vaccinated.

“I want to see fewer people being exposed to measles and the other things that we’ve spent decades, through research and development in the medical industry and health care, making our country a better place and a safer place to live so I want to see more kids being vaccinated,” he said.

Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services contributed to this report.

21 comments

  1. Does Ducey somehow think that he’s been appointed as the “King of Arizona” and that his decree determines what his subjects shall be injected with?

    Don’t speak for the people in this state. They have their own voice.

  2. I believe all children and adolecsents should be vaccinated.

  3. Kiss reelection goodbye!!

  4. So the Governor doesn’t care about the kids who vaccinations will hurt? That is very one sided. I am disappointed. Any time something like this is imposed on the public it ends up bad.
    It’s to late for my child he was already hurt by excessive immunizations but others don’t have to watch their children suffer like I did.

  5. Since the governor is pro-vaccination and anti-measles (sounds more like he’s anti medical freedom and anti informed consent) let’s first have him get caught up on all of his boosters. According to recent posts by the media adults who have not had a measles booster within the last 10 years are not immune to the disease. Never mind the fact that an another booster will only last a couple of years, the only solution they have is another booster. So let Governor Ducey put his money where his mouth is before killing any bills and get his adult booster shots. I think that’s only fair.

  6. We are not a pro vaccine state. A state is not pro vax. Nothing will ever undo what I have seen with my own eyes and in my own research on vaccines of the severe adverse events that continually happen due to the vaccines themselves not containing safe ingredients . He is simply normalizing the number of children who are now developmentally disabled from the shot themselves. When will it be that charter schools for autism like the one on Indian school and 15th St. outnumber the public schools since autism is no one in 36 boys? Ducey Is acting as a totalitarian leader and is out of his mind if he thinks All his constituents will conform to his cult like religion of Believing in a product that has killed and injured thousands beyond thousands of people and has absolutely no liability for their actions. Other than people like me, who have actually researched vaccines, the rest only believe what they see on the media which is only one side of the debate. They are kept blind. Very sad That Ducey believes only what he hears in the mainstream media. He should have been at that hearing if he was so concerned where valuable actual data was presented

  7. You better take all of the chemicals out of the vaccines and separate the MMR shot into separate shots before you make them mandatory…..or the cases of Autism and death will be on your shoulders. Do your research…real research.

  8. This pseudo Republican needs to stop getting into people’s personal business and start governing so he can restore more personal freedoms back to the Arizona people. It’s a freedom of choice issue, not a public safety issue. I moved here from NY to escape an oppressive government and ever since Ducey has taken office I have seen an attitude of bigger government from him. You’re a conservative sir… Please act that way and let people be free.

  9. Anyone that desires to make policy regarding vaccines needs to understand the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act that created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). The original intent is a far cry from the actual operating procedure today. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reports on NVICP that show injured victims are not being helped. In addition, the 2011 US Supreme Court case, Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, preempts all vaccine design defect claims against vaccine manufacturers because it deemed vaccine ‘unavoidably unsafe’. How is any of that fair to the injured or to parents desiring to make the best choice for their family?

  10. Doug Ducey is bought and received a $10,100 donations from Pfizer https://votesmart.org/candidate/campaign-finance/123548/doug-ducey#.XHiRRaRlCaM

  11. Everyone in this comment section is a complete moron. Anti-vaxxers are not only a waste of oxygen, but actively make the planet worse by existing.

  12. FOLLOW THE MONEY!! All politicians are corrupted by BIG PHARMA’s money!!!

  13. This bill is not anti vaccination. Its pro informed consent. Its pro medical accountability. It is pro-individualized medical care vs cattlecar care. It empowers the people to make educated informed choice vs allowing the goverment and big pharma to dictate what is injected into their body without any accountability or recourse!

  14. Science Matters

    In the first 6 weeks of 2019 the Vaccine Court has paid out over $72 million dollars in taxpayer money, because the Legislature gave vaccine makers immunity from liability.

    A recent whooping cough outbreak in CA proved vaccination is not efficacious, as the unvaccinated children did not contract the disease but 100% of the children who did contract whoopin cough had been vaccinated.

    Vaccine manufacturers should have to prove they actually work in double blind studies, and prove they are safe, before any government official should even contemplate a mandate. Ducey clearly believes that the State owns your children’s bodies.

    Vaccines contain disturbing ingredients that have absolutely nothing to do with immunology, and the number of vaccines being forced on our children has grown exponentially since I was a child. I think AZ parents of vaccine injured children should be able to sue Ducey personally for damages, since he’ either too stupid to read the package inserts or too much in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industrial complex .

    https://www.projectcensored.org/13-us-vaccine-court-paid-three-billion-dollars-vaccine-injured-families/

  15. My daughter got her first MMR vaccine at 3 1/2 and had her first seizure shortly after. I was told it happens “all the time” but it should be a one time thing. Her seizures never stopped and she was diagnosed with epilepsy. Her seizures are hard to stop and almost always land us in an ambulance and at the hospital. I was told that the live rubella portion of MMR can activate epilepsy/seizures in children predispositioned to them. When I asked, though, I was told it would be safe and was pressured to give it to her. Though I asked about safety, no testing was done to make sure she wasn’t predispositioned before giving the vaccine. We later found out she has MTHFR, but no testing was done for that either before giving vaccines, even though she has spina bifida (a midline defect). We should never be forced to vaccinate, and instead of forcing or fighting, we need to evaluate the ingredients and schedule and figure out how to make vaccines safer. So many kids have reactions, and we give way too many at a time. Our schedule has changed over the years and we give way way more than we used to.

  16. Why is everyone so concerned about the children? This has never been about community health, if it was people shouldn’t be allowed to send their kids to school with colds and sickness, they could kill that immune compromised kid everyone is so worried about. Unvaccinated kids and adults cannot infect others with things they dont have. Mealses is a side effect of the MMR, are you that stupid Governer that you think they cannot spread that to others when an active infection is present. I hope you are happy with the 10,000 dollar campaign donation you received from Pfizer’s coffers. Is that all our children are worth to you. You can kiss my vote and the other 8 my family will carry to another candidate if you continue to be a sheep and do what you want instead of the people. You are just a part of the problem if our children are worth so little.

  17. You were elected to uphold the constitution of the state. Not to invoke your opinion. Do this and you will not get my vote. This violates the freedom of every citizen of our state.

  18. A concerned provider

    We see too many people at our clinic who are injured by vaccines: Veterans and military with vaccine injury, people who get some paralysis from the flu shot, and children who become developmentally disabled from early vaccines. The current vaccine schedule is now 50-70 vaccine doses as compared to the 10 (when I was a child). The problem is that with the additional ingredients found in the vaccines such as retroviruses, mercury (renamed Thimerosol), alumninum, formaldehyde, and aborted fetal tissue…when combined with the normal inflammation response to the vaccine, can cause excessive damage to brain neurology (essentially “frying” brain circuitry) in some individuals. Vaccines, like opioids and antibiotics, while helpful can be overprescribed and should be used judiciously for only serious conditions and not for those who show a demonstrated negative response. There are now effective alternative means of prevention and treatment for disease making this “all or nothing” application of widespread vaccines for every ailment to also then include much needed alternative options for vaccination on an individual basis. Unfortunately the current medical exception does not cover all of the conditions for which there would be a negative impact on an individual. Allowing for informed consent and testing to show one has already obtained immunity from one dose instead of having to get the required repeated doses would save many lives and prevent vaccine injuries, thus offering better protection to all.

  19. Robert Schulte, MD

    Ducey’s Administration can’t get its act together. On October 18, 2018 this was published in the Arizona Republic: “Arizona cancels vaccine program after backlash from parents who don’t vaccinate”
    (Read below) AZDHS Director Dr. Cara Christ puts politics first.
    —————
    AZCentral (Oct 18, 2018): “The state of Arizona has canceled a vaccine education program after receiving complaints from parents who don’t immunize their school-age children.

    The pilot online course, modeled after programs in Oregon and Michigan, was created in response to the rising number of Arizona schoolchildren skipping school-required immunizations against diseases like measles, mumps and whooping cough because of their parents’ beliefs.

    But some parents, who were worried the optional course was going to become mandatory, complained to the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council, which reviews regulations to ensure they are necessary and do not adversely affect the public. The six-member council is appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey, with an ex-officio general counsel.

    Members of the council questioned the state health department about the course after receiving the public feedback about it, emails show. State health officials responded by canceling it.

    The complaints that ended the pilot program came from about 120 individuals and families, including 20 parents who said that they don’t vaccinate their children, records show.

    “We’re so sorry we couldn’t make a go of this — strong forces against us,” Brenda Jones, immunization services manager at the Arizona Department of Health Services, wrote in an Aug. 6 email to a Glendale school official, along with a notification about the course’s cancellation.

    In an email to two Health Department staff members on Aug. 14, Jones wrote that there had been “a lot of political and anti-vax” feedback.”

    https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-health/2018/10/18/arizona-course-vaccines-canceled-after-parental-backlash/1149710002/

  20. Robert Schulte, MD

    Some in the public have concerns regarding vaccines correlating with/causing a variety of serious maladies. The scientific evidence, shown again in a recently reported study, is that while symptoms of autism may first express at the same ages as the administration of MMR vaccines, it is NOT a causal relationship. The two events correlate on a time line, but that’s it.
    —————
    March 6, 2019 NYTimesOpinion: … “Modern vaccines are highly effective and safe, with most serious side effects being exceptionally rare — and much less serious than contracting the actual disease. But misinformation about vaccines is still widely reported, so we feel it is crucial to state clearly and unambiguously: Vaccines do not cause autism and they do not contain toxic chemicals. That fact was demonstrated again this week in a new study on MMR vaccination by Danish researchers.” …
    Repost:

  21. Ha! Of course he is trying to stop this. He took pacs from vaccine manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance agencies. 10,000 from the vaccine manufacturer Pfizer and at least 3,000 from Eli Lilly & Co. He only sees money and does not care about the best interest of the citizens.

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