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OPPOSE SB 016, Vaccinating Minors for HPV and Hepatitis B Without Parental Consent

Location: CO
Title: OPPOSE SB 016, Vaccinating Minors for HPV and Hepatitis B Without Parental Consent
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UPDATE: 3/25/2021 - SB 016 passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on 3/24/2021 by a vote of 4 yes and 3 no.   Senator Kirkmeyer offered an amendment to clarify that preventive measures do not include vaccines.  Senator Peterson said that was a hostile amendment and the amendment was not adopted.  The bill will now go to the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

ACTION NEEDED:

Contact your State Senator and ask them to oppose SB 016.

UPDATE: 3/16/2021 - SB 016 was not heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee this morning.  The bill is currently on the agenda for the March 24, 2021, 1:30 PM hearing. https://leg.colorado.gov/content/health-human-services-2 - agenda

Dear NVIC Advocacy Colorado Members,

Your action is needed to help stop a bill that would allow minors to be vaccinated for sexually transmitted diseases without knowledge or consent of the parent.

SB 016 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday, March 24th at 1:30 PM in Room SCR 357.  This bill is sponsored by Sen. B. PettersenSen. D. MorenoRep. D. EsgarRep. K. Mullica.  This bill is the same as SB 156 from 2020. 

One of the many things this bill does is it amends current law - 25-4-409.  Minors - treatment - consent – that states a health care provider shall test and treat a minor for a sexually transmitted infection and the consent of a parent or legal guardian is not a prerequisite.  Current law only says the health care provider shall discuss "prevention measures", but this bill requires the health care provider to administer the preventive measure without consent or knowledge of the parent.

Preventive measures include vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases.  Vaccines currently recommended for sexually transmitted diseases are HPV and Hepatitis B Vaccines.  Vaccines are a medical intervention that can cause injury or even death that are governed by specific federal laws not taken into consideration in this bill as introduced.  

If passed the bill would also allow minors to be vaccinated with any other vaccines that could be recommended in the future for sexually transmitted diseases. 

ACTION NEEDED:

1.    Contact your Colorado State Senator and ask them to oppose SB 016 allowing minors to be vaccinated with HPV and Hepatitis B Vaccines and all future STD vaccines without parental consent.  If you do not know who your Colorado State Legislators are, login to the NVIC Advocacy Portal at http://NVICAdvocacy.org.  Click on “Check What is Happening in Your State” on the home page or “My State” on the STATE TEAMS Tab.  Your personal state legislators are listed on the right side of the page.  You can also find your legislators by clicking here

2.    Contact Members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and ask them oppose SB 016 allowing minors to be vaccinated with HPV and Hepatitis B Vaccines and all future STD vaccines without parental knowledge or consent.  

3.    Information on how to testify is available here. If you plan to testify in person, remotely via WebEx or submit written testimony to the committee, you must register first here -https://www2.leg.state.co.us/CLICS/CLICS2021A/commsumm.nsf/signIn.xsp    

4.    Login to the NVIC Advocacy Portal often to check for updates.  Bills can change many times over the legislative process and your timely visits, calls, and emails directed at the correct legislators are critical to this process.

5.    Sign up to get NVIC’s Colorado “Heads Up” text alerts by texting “Colorado” to 202-618-5488.  We will let you know of any last-minute changes to the bill or hearing if needed via text.   

6.    Please forward this email to family and friends and ask them to register for the NVIC Advocacy Portal at http://NVICAdvocacy.org and share their concerns with their legislators as well.

Senate Health and Human Services Committee Members:

Rhonda Fields, Chair, 303-866-4879, rhonda.fields.senate@state.co.us

Joann Ginal, Vice Chair, 303-866-4841, joannginal52@gmail.com

Jim Smallwood, 303-866-4869, senatorsmallwood@gmail.com

Barbara Kirkmeyer, 303-866-4876, barbara.kirkmeyer.senate@state.co.us 

Sonya Jaquez Lewis, 303-866-5291, sonya.jaquez.lewis.senate@state.co.us    

Janet Buckner, 303-866-3432, janet.buckner.senate@state.co.us 

Cleave Simpson, 303-866-4875, cleave.simpson.senate@state.co.us   

Reasons why SB 016 should be opposed:

SB 016 Violates Parental Rights

  • SB 016 REQUIRES a health care provider to administer, dispense or prescribe preventative measures or medication, which includes vaccines, to a minor child whenever a child requests a diagnostic exam for a sexually transmitted infection (STI). (See Page 5 line 27 through line 7 on Page 6)
  • Parental consent would not be required when a minor child is administered the HPV vaccine, the Hepatitis B vaccine or any future vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease.
  • If the minor child is 13 years or older, the health care practitioner is even prohibited from disclosing to the parent that the child received a vaccine. (Page 6 lines 8-19)
  • A minor child could have a serious and even life-threatening reaction to the vaccine without the parent knowing a vaccine had ever been given. 
  • Minor children are at high risk of being exploited by persuading health care providers to receive vaccines that their parents may be strongly opposed to them receiving.  Special needs children or children with IEPs are at even greater risk to be given vaccines parents may not want their child to receive.     

Minors as Young as 9 Years Old can be Vaccinated Without Parental Knowledge or Consent Putting Them at Risk

  • Current Colorado law C.R.S. 25-4-409 (1)(a) states- A health care provider or facility, if consulted by a patient who is a minor, shall perform, at the minor's request, a diagnostic examination for a sexually transmitted infection. The health care provider or facility shall treat the minor for a sexually transmitted infection, if necessary; discuss prevention measures, where applicable; and include appropriate therapies and prescriptions.  Section (2) states -The consent of a parent or legal guardian is not a prerequisite for a minor to receive a consultation, examination, or treatment for sexually transmitted infections.  SB 016 amends this language to include preventive care.  Vaccines are considered preventive care so this bill would change the law to require minors to be vaccinated without parental knowledge or consent.
  • Current law also states - If the minor is thirteen years of age or younger, the health care provider may involve the minor's parent or legal guardian.  This means while they “may” involve the parent they do not have to.  Therefore, a child as young as 9 years old could be vaccinated for HPV without the knowledge or consent of the parent or guardian because this is the recommended age for HPV for both boys and girls

Serious Questions on HPV Vaccine Efficacy, Necessity and Safety Remain

  • HPV vaccines have not been proven to prevent cancer of any kind and no participants in the original HPV clinical trials received true saline placebos.
  • The clinical trials never investigated the vaccine’s possible effects on human fertility or potential to cause cancer.
  • With over 200 types, HPV is the most common STD in the US.  HPV infection is experienced by the majority of sexually active women and men without symptoms and is naturally cleared from the body within two years by more than 90 % of those who become infected.
  • Any students that have already been exposed to HPV 16 or 18 prior to receiving HPV vaccine, increases their risk of precancerous lesions, or worse, by 44.6%, according to data Merck provide to the FDA before Gardasil was approved in 2006. (See VRBPAC Background document, bottom of page 13)
  • As of March 4, 2020, there were 64,473 vaccine reaction reports made to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) associated with HPV vaccines. 8,936 were classified as serious reactions, and included unexplained collapse, seizures, muscle pain and weakness; disabling fatigue, paralysis, brain inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, blood clots, multiple sclerosis, optic neuritis, spontaneous abortions, lupus, strokes, cardiac issues, seizures/convulsions, and many other health problems.  There were also 528 reports of death.  (VAERS reporting is voluntary and it receives reports for only a small fraction of actual adverse events)

Disregards Federal Law and Supreme Court Decision

  • The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (42 U.S.C. §300aa-26), a federal law, requires the parent or guardian of a minor child to be given a VIS (Vaccine Information Statement) before vaccines are given. The CDC on their Q&A page on VIS sheets:  Under the question “Is there a requirement to verify that parents/legal representatives have actually received and reviewed the VIS,” the answer is a clear undebatable “YES”. This bill ignores the federal law and requirement that VIS be given to the parent or guardian.
  • When the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 was passed, Congress never contemplated or provided for a minor child making the decision to get a vaccine without their parent or guardian. The Act clearly states that before the administration of certain vaccines, a health care provider shall give a copy of the CDC’s vaccine information materials to either, “the parent or legal representative of any child to whom the provider intends to administer such vaccine, or to any adult  to whom the provider intends to administer such vaccine.” There is no provision in the law that allows a health care provider to give a minor child the Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) materials for the purpose of consenting, without the parent’s knowledge or consent, to the administration of vaccines.
  • By receiving a federally recommended vaccine, a minor child is giving up the legal rights to file an injury claim in a federal or state civil court of law, even if the child suffers brain injury or another permanent health problem from the vaccine.  A minor child cannot fully understand the terms of the Vaccine Injury Act including the three year statute of limitations on filing a vaccine injury claim with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The Act’s vaccine injury table lists certain injuries that may only be eligible to receive compensation if they occur within 30 days of vaccination. Minors would be solely responsible for getting confirmation and documentation that they have an injury on this chart within 30 days of vaccination and many minors cannot drive themselves to the doctor or hospital.
  • Minor children would not know that by asking for a diagnostic examination for a sexually transmitted infection that they are effectively agreeing to preventative treatment including receiving a vaccine as mandated by the state.
  • States have the right to restrict minors from making major decisions without parental consent because minors lack the ability and experience to make informed and mature choices.

The Supreme Court stated, “[T]he Court has held that the States validly may limit the freedom of children to choose for themselves in the making of important, affirmative choices with potentially serious consequences. These rulings have been grounded in the recognition that, during the formative years of childhood and adolescence, minors often lack the experience, perspective, and judgment to recognize and avoid choices that could be detrimental to them. Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629 (1968), illustrates well the Court's concern over the inability of children to make mature choices, as the First Amendment rights involved are clear examples of constitutionally protected freedoms of choice.”

Not Necessary

Jeopardizes Federal Funding for SBHC

  • ACA provides grants to School Based Health Centers (SBHC) under Section 42 USC 280h-5. (a)(3)(b) and clearly states parental consent is required for services provided to those children and adolescents in these centers. Providing services, including vaccines, to minors without parental consent at SBHCs could jeopardize federal funding.

Allows Minors to be Vaccinated at School Clinics without Parental Knowledge or Consent

  • According to the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), the School-Based Health Center Program (SBHC) funds 53 centers and providing vaccinations is a minimum requirement.  The  Colorado Health Institute in 2015 stated, roughly 35,000 Colorado children received primary and preventive health care services in SBHC.  If SB 016 is passed those preventive services for STIs, including vaccines, can be administered at SBHC without parental consent or knowledge.

Sincerely,

NVIC Advocacy Team
National Vaccine Information Center
http://NVIC.org and http://NVICAdvocacy.org
https://nvicadvocacy.org/members/Members/ContactUs.aspx

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