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Your action is needed to stop a predatorial bill in the District of Columbia that would not only permit children 11 years old and older to consent to vaccines on their own without parental knowledge or consent, but also requires insurance companies, vaccine providers and schools to conceal the fact that the child has been vaccinated from the parent. 

B23-0171 was passed 12:1 at the Oct. 20 first reading, and it was announced that it would have a second reading and final vote by the DC Council at their legislative meeting scheduled on Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. Council Member Trayon White Sr. was the only council member to vote against the bill because it violates parental rights. The discussion of the bill starts at 5:36 in the archived video

However, at the Nov. 10 meeting, the bill was postponed for the final reading and vote until Tuesday, Nov. 17. You can watch the discussion on the archived video beginning at the 39:50 time stamp.

Council Member Vincent Gray, chair of the Health Committee, had proposed an amendment to require the vaccine provider to notify the insurer that the immunization has been provided under the authority of the “Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act of 2020”, so the insurer will know that they should not send an Explanation of Benefits for the vaccination. This amendment underscores the intention of deception to keep parents in the dark about their children receiving liability free vaccines without their knowledge or consent. Fortunately, because Council Member Gray was not able to attend the meeting and answer questions about his amendment, the vote on the bill was postponed. We have this week to make sure the DC Council knows that this bill is not acceptable to families.

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) first alerted our members to this bill when it was scheduled for a hearing originally in June of 2019. After no activity for over a year, the bill was just passed by a voice vote in a virtual meeting of the Health Committee on Oct. 7, after it was amended to make it even worse. In the archived video, the amendments are discussed at the 8:44 mark and the sponsor’s comments begin at 9:48 time mark.  

The chair of the health committee who passed the bill, Vincent C. Gray (D-Ward 7), was quoted in the Washington Post saying “the hope of an imminent corona­virus vaccine gave the bill new urgency.”

If the bill passes second reading, it goes to the mayor who has up to 10 days to sign the bill, let it go into effect without a signature, or veto it. If the mayor vetoes the bill, the council can override the veto by a two-thirds vote. 

The final step before becoming law is the bill must be sent to the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S.Senate for a period of 30 days before becoming effective as law. During this period of congressional review, the congress may enact into law a joint resolution disapproving the council’s act. If, during the review period, the president approves the joint resolution, the council’s act is prevented from becoming law. If, however, upon the expiration of the congressional review period, no joint resolution disapproving the council’s act has been approved by the president, the bill finally becomes a law and is assigned a law number. 

Action needed: 

1.  Contact members of DC Council Committee of the Whole and ask them to vote no on B23-0171 at the second reading on Nov. 17. See reasons to oppose and committee contact information below.

Only those who live, work, or send their kids to school in the District of Columbia should be contacting council members to oppose this bill, but we need everyone no matter where you live to: 

a. Share this with all your DC contacts.

b. Be ready to contact your congressional representative and two senators to support a resolution to prevent this bill from becoming law.

2. Contact Mayor Bowser and ask her to veto B23-0171 if it comes to her for consideration.

3. Login to the NVIC advocacy portal often to check the status of this bill.

Reasons to oppose B23-0171

B23-0171 permits minor children 11 years old and older to consent to any vaccine recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) without parental knowledge or consent (lines 33-36).

  • A child is less likely than their parent to understand personal and family medical history including vaccine reactions, allergies, and autoimmune or neurological disorders. 
  • Kids do not have the same kind of critical thinking skills or emotional maturity required to make a vaccine benefit-risk decision compared to an adult. Vaccines can cause injury and death as evidenced by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which has paid out over $4.4 billion dollars to vaccine victims.
  • Children and adolescents are vulnerable to peer and authority-figure persuasion.
  • If a child consents to vaccination without their parent knowing and has a reaction, the parent may not recognize the reason for their child’s decline in health and this lack of knowledge could be life threatening for the child.
  • This puts minor children at risk of being pressured and coerced into getting a COVID-19 vaccine behind their parents’ back once it is available and added to the ACIP recommended schedule for children. 

B23-0171 compels insurance companies (lines 46-47), vaccine providers (lines 43-45 and 54-58), and schools (lines 58-60) to conceal vaccine administration and insurance payment information from parents whose children consent to vaccines on their own and their parents have already declined or filed a religious exemption. 

  • This proposed legislation is a blatant violation of parents’ constitutional right to raise their children without undue interference from the state.
  • The legal right of parents to give their informed consent for minor children to take medical risks, which can result in injury or death, trumps the goals of health agencies or vaccine corporations and medical organizations, whose employees, stockholders or members profit or professionally benefit from increased, widespread vaccine use.
  • This bill violates the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA, 34 CFR § 99.10, affords parents the right to have access to their children’s education records. “Education records” include health and vaccine records at the K-12 level.  
  • B23-0171 blatantly ignores the existing intent of other laws and regulations putting parents in charge of vaccination decisions including section 5300.11 providing the legal right of the parent to claim a medical or religious exemption to vaccination.
  • There is no justification to override a parent’s legal right to make an informed benefit and risk decision about vaccination on behalf of their minor children, ignore their religious rights to decline vaccination, and then hand that responsibility to vaccine providers who are protected from liability and have no accountability for what happens to the child after vaccination. 
  • Both The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 and U.S. Supreme Court Decision Russell Bruesewitz et al v. Wyeth et al guarantee that vaccine manufacturers, doctors and other vaccine administrators have no legal accountability or financial liability in civil court when a government recommended or mandated vaccine(s) causes permanent injury or death. 
  • B23-0171 requires the Department of Health to produce their own dumbed down version of vaccine information sheets to be given to the minor children (lines 40-42). 
  • Federal legislative history provides evidence that Congress never intended for a minor child to make decisions to get a vaccine without parental knowledge or consent. 
  • When the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 was passed, the act clearly stated that before the administration of vaccines to a child, a health care provider shall give a copy of the CDC’s vaccine information materials to the, “parent or legal representative of any child to whom the provider intends to administer such vaccine …”
  • The CDC asserts the requirement that their Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS) is provided to the parent/legal guardian prior to vaccination of a minor child 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 and undebatable “yes”. 
  • B23-0171 permits schools to share the vaccination record with the department of health or the school-based health center (lines 59-60). 
  • 34 CFR §99.30 also requires prior written parental consent before personally identifiable information (PII) is disclosed and requires schools to provide copies of those records disclosed. While FERPA does allow for release of PII under the health and safety emergency exception, this is extremely limited.