Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Virginia Department of Health
State Board of Health
Regulations for the Immunization of School Children [12 VAC 5 ‑ 110]
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11/28/22  9:26 pm
Commenter: Audrey Van Auken

Informed Consent

The regulations fail to acknowledge the principle of informed consent, the legal right to be fully and accurately informed about the benefits and risks of a medical intervention, including a pharmaceutical product, and the right to make a voluntary decision about whether to accept the risk for oneself or their minor child without being coerced or punished. The right to informed consent is universally affirmed as a human right by ethicists, medical societies, Virginia regulation, institutional patient bills of rights, and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If the principle of informed consent is incorporated into the state’s immunization regulations it would necessitate a paradigm shift from a mandatory, one size all vaccination schedule Children’s Health Defense / 344 Maple Avenue #215 / Vienna, VA 22180 required for all Virginia’s school children to one that acknowledges that a child’s health interventions should be made by the parent(s). The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe” and can cause injury and death in some recipients and therefore, where there is risk, there must be choice. The decision to accept a vaccine, like any other medical intervention, should be made by the individual and in the case of a minor, the decision should be solely that of the parent(s). At a minimum, the regulations should be amended to include a definition of informed consent.

 Medical exemptions are very difficult to obtain largely because doctors fear reprisal from the state’s medical regulatory bodies that grant medical licenses and board certifications, and exemptions are often refused by school or health authorities. The regulation should be strengthened to protect an individual’s right to a medical exemption.

Cases for which natural immunity to a disease can be proven should also allow for an vaccine exemption for said disease.

There should be a discussion on whether the vaccination schedule has improved the health of Virginia’s children. In that discussion, focus on health outcomes related to vaccination including negative outcomes should be considered. Vaccines are known to cause a number of adverse events and any review of the state’s required schedule should assess both the benefits and costs.

Section 12VAC5-110-130 should not apply to home-instructed school children Regulations requiring vaccinations for children taught at home are an overreach of the state’s authority and infringe on the rights of parents. The state should not be involved in establishing vaccine requirements for children taught at home.

The regulations should be amended to make any immunization registry/tracking program done on an opt in basis only.

The regulatory review process should not be used to amend the vaccine schedule to include the COVID-19 vaccine.

CommentID: 206373