New Jersey is at a crossroads when it comes to public health policy. On one hand, we have the opportunity to become a leader in unbiased research and data collection, answer questions honestly, regain public trust, and put parents’ minds at ease. Or, we can implement a coercive public health strategy in an attempt to force families of faith to take a pharmaceutical product that violates their religious beliefs.
Since the 2020-2021 legislative session began, a record number of vaccine bills have been introduced. Many of these bills seek to restrict or completely eliminate the rights of New Jersey citizens. As a New Jersey resident and your constituent, this is very concerning. Sound public health policy is rooted in trust and education — not coercion and fear. Regardless of a family’s view on vaccinations, coercive mandates that remove parental choice will only breed more distrust in the current immunization program as well as the government agencies overseeing them.
New Jersey is home to 14 of the world’s 20 largest pharmaceutical companies, including Bayer Healthcare, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Novartis and Novo Nordisk. New Jersey’s business economy thrives off of the pharmaceutical industry, whose players are given sizable tax incentives by the state. Those same players are known to invest significant money and resources to influence vaccine policy. However, legislators have a duty to represent the interests of the constituents they’re entrusted to protect, not billion-dollar pharmaceutical companies (whose main goal is to maximize shareholder value by generating as much profit as possible).
It is no secret that the same pharmaceutical companies who stand to profit billions from mandated vaccinations are the same ones riddled with corruption and who are known for putting profits over patients. Many of us forget that the pharmaceutical industry is the same industry responsible for our country’s opioid epidemic, which is devastating families and killing tens of thousands of Americans each year. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry hit a low in 2019, becoming the most poorly regarded industry in America.
There is no justification for the onslaught of bills seeking to remove parental rights. Data shows that New Jersey’s current vaccination rates surpass herd immunity targets, and the state already has emergency measures in place to address infectious disease outbreaks. Moreover, historical data shows that mortality rates fell prior to the introduction of many vaccines that are now mandates for school attendance.
As such, please consider creating or supporting legislation that will strengthen trust in public health policy, including:
- A401/S1768 – Requires a state review board to investigate infant mortality and near mortality post vaccination.
- A400 – Establishes a state adverse event reporting system and requires all healthcare providers administering vaccines to report adverse events following vaccination.
- S1921 – Introduces a “Children’s Vaccination Bill of Rights” that provides children in New Jersey with certain protections concerning vaccines.
- A2351 – The “Informed Consent for Vaccination Act” revises vaccine requirements to bolster informed consent and increase patient safeguards.
- S1791/A3460 – Modifies the “New Jersey Tort Claims Act” by making the state of New Jersey strictly liable for injuries caused by state-mandated vaccines.
It is my sincere hope that you will heed the concerns of those you represent and will fully consider the potential consequences of any bill that removes citizens’ rights or mandates one-size-fits all medicine. Please oppose coercive policies and ask your peers to do the same. This includes S902/A969 (eliminates religious exemptions except for private institutions that voluntarily choose to permit them); S903 (legislates scrutiny of religious beliefs); A1980 (revises access and reporting for immunization); and A1603 (mandates the HPV vaccine for grades 6 – 12).
I urge you to trust and protect families and people of faith over pharmaceutical reps and lobbyists, who spend more than other industry each year in order to influence legislators. Together, families and lawmakers can work together to keep our communities safe while restoring trust and faith in the systems meant to serve us.