Vaccines 5 - Some Solutions and Conclusions

Vaccines 5 - Some Solutions and Conclusions

With this final chapter we hope to wrap up this series on vaccinations. In this series, I tried to show that while vaccines are effective, the development and production of some are based on immoral practices. We also considered the real risks of complications from vaccines. Finally, we introduced the idea that for a number of vaccines, the benefit is primarily for the society, then secondarily for the individual. This is why, for example, the medical community is vaccinating millions of children for polio, when there were only 22 cases worldwide in 2017. 
This chart shows a summary of the major points we went over: 
PROS (Pro-Vaccination)
CONS (Anti-Vaccination)
Protects the child against disease. (See Part 1, Autumn 2017)
Some vaccines were created and produced using aborted human fetal tissue. (See Part 3, Summer 2018)
Creates a “Herd” immunity to protect immune compromised (the very young and old, etc.) against disease. (See Chapter 1)
Exposing children to potentially harmful reactions and side effects. (See Chapter 4)
Establishes the possibility of eradicating certain diseases. (See Chapter 1)

Before trying to decide how it would be best for Christians to approach this issue, we should also consider these verses: 
  • But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. -1 Timothy 5:8
  • And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him. -Mark 12:1317
So, does the vaccination of children, belong to Caesar’s turf, or is it God’s domain? Certainly, the state sees itself as having a role, yet most of us believe that the care of our children’s physical needs is our God-given role. 
Here’s the “catch” (v.13); the state sees the welfare of children as being part of its turf, however, there is a recognition that parents almost always make the best decisions for their children. As such, almost all states have made “carve out” exceptions to laws requiring vaccinations – those who are religiously opposed (and for some states, those who have philosophical objections) may be excused from receiving the injections. In the United Sates, there are now five exceptions to this. Mississippi and West Virginia do not allow religious or philosophical exemptions, with the only permissible exemption in these states being that of a genuine medical reason. In 2016, California became the third state to not give allowance for any exemptions.  NY followed win 2019, and Maine will be next in 2021.
What are the penalties? In general, state laws exclude children (that have not been vaccinated) from public grade schools and high schools. The parents are also held to account if the child is truant (absent) because of this. (Furthermore, some of us have children who want to work in the medical field, yet most of those schools require certain vaccines, in which there are very few “work arounds.”) Well, our children go to our church’s Christian day school, so we’re OK, right? In all those states, the answer is “No”. The laws apply to both public and private schools. Do these laws cover homeschools? SO FAR, they do not apply to home schools. 
Those of you who are breathing a sigh of relief, because you do not live in those states, and can use religious exemptions, consider this. Many state laws are written with the wording that an exemption is allowed only if receiving a vaccine violates a specific religious “tenet.” For example, Jehovah Witnesses have a widely recognized and long- held practice (at least historically) of rejecting vaccines. There have been a number of court cases in which religious exemptions to vaccines have been rejected because the individual family, not the church, objects to vaccines. If the family objections have been backed up by an official, documented church tenet, a court challenge to those claims would have been less likely. 
There is a website where people can check out all the vaccine laws in all the states. It can be found at this link: 
Below is a list of recent changes or current status of various states: 
  • In California Personal Belief Exemptions were phased out, starting in 1/1/16. They did allow religious exemptions for homeschool, but not private schools (Christian Day Schools) -Current Policy (1)
  • An attempt in 2018 to remove the application to private schools was defeated. (CA AB 2668) 
  • AZ SB 1383 in 2018 Protections from state regulations about requiring immunizations of children of foster parents were removed. The bill died in committee. (2)
  • HI - HB 779 (2018) Sought to expand exemptions to philosophical reasons - died in committee.
  • The new Maine law, eliminating religious exemptions, may be placed on the ballot, potentially reversing it.  (3)
  • MN - SF 3977 Sought to eliminate conscientious exemptions. (4)
  • MS - No exemption for religious reasons. Applies to public and private schools. -Current Policy.  (5)
  • MS - Multiple attempts to add religious and philosophical exemptions, failed in committee. (6)
New Jersey 
  • NJ - A3818 - Tightens religious exemption: includes “ explanation of the nature of the person's religious tenet or practice that is implicated by the vaccination, and how administration of the vaccine would violate, contradict, or otherwise be inconsistent with that tenet or practice;” 
  • A3818 passed Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee on 4/5/18 
New York 
  • NY A2371 quickly passed June 13, 2019 in 1 day after no public hearings.  No religious exceptions.  Applies to private schools as well.  (8)
  • OK SB 1433 “adds in statute that refusal to vaccinate a child or delaying vaccination is not defined as “child abuse.”” In conservative Oklahoma, this bill did not receive enough support to pass through committee. Evidently, a majority of the committee felt that withholding vaccinations, as some level, may constitute “child abuse”.  (9)
  • OK SB 1123 sought to eliminate exemptions.  (10)
  • OK SJR 57 sought to put a state constitutional amendment for the elimination of exemptions on the ballot for a vote.  (11)
  • PA SB 217 (2017) Notwithstanding any rule or regulation to the contrary, a strong moral or ethical conviction similar to a religious belief may not qualify as an exemption from the immunization requirements of this section. This bill sought to eliminate philosophical exemptions but did not pass. (12)
Rhode Island 
  • RI H7686 - Attempted to add philosophical exemption - held for further study.  (13)
West Virginia 
  • WV - “West Virginia does not grant non-medical exemptions.” Applies to “public, private and parochial” schools. -Current Policy.  (14)
  • WV HB 2945 Sought to establish Religious and “Conscientious personal objection” – died in legislature.  (15)
One final word on the legal front (as in the case of laws tightening up in California, New York, and Maine) is the importance of understanding that the legal landscape is constantly shifting and changing. 
Politically, you may have noticed that conservative states are just as likely to be as restrictive as liberal states.  The reverse is also true - almost as many “liberal” states allow freedom of conscience as “conservative” states!  Much of the last thread against religious exemptions has been tied to the latest Measles outbreak.  As of mid-September, 2019, there have been 1241 cases, with 65 complications, such as encephalitis and pneumonia, and no recorded deaths.  (16)
More states are likely to follow the lead, eliminating exemptions, which will result in putting many more children in Home Schools - the one last refuge.  However, as this number grows, it is very possible Home Schoolers will also become a target for exemption elimination in the future, and can happen virtually over night, as it has in New York.
As a young medical student, 25 years ago, I remember a strong push to force all medical students to participate in abortions.  The reason was clear:  to eliminate Christian doctors with strong convictions, and to transform the Christian doctors with weak convictions.  Thankfully, to my knowledge, this requirement has not become policy - yet.  
This is one small piece of evidence that there has been a spirit of non-conformity sweeping across the nation, and even the world.  However, it is not the type of non-conformity we are used to.  For in the secular world, there has been less of a tolerance for the conscientious objections to things of the world:   Catholic nuns are still being pressed to provide abortifacient birth control for their workers. (17)  Fellow Mennonites have moved out of Montreal for the freedom from a mandatory curriculum including teaching on evolution and the promotion of sexual sin. (18)  Attempts were made to mandate teachers, even home schoolers, attain a college degree, even a teaching degree. (19)  Compromise on one issue will not bring relief from another.
So as I close this series of articles, you and your church will be challenged to make some difficult decisions.  I am not here to tell you what to do.  Seek the Lord in all things, and be not deceived:  Changes and challenges will continue to arise, and it is good to have a ready answer.  Compromising with or yielding to the state is no guarantee of avoidance of future adversity - especially in the areas of children’s education and healthcare.
This will not be the last challenge, but it can be preparation for the next one.  No matter what you decide, I encourage you to  plan as a unified church body, on what to do when the next challenge comes.  Adversity has the potential to strengthen an individual or church body or to destroy it, as there is a battle over the hearts and minds of men.
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”  (1 Peter 4:12-13)

Practical Considerations
What is church and family to do?  Again, pray for wisdom. Then research the topic well. Consider the medical, ethical, and spiritual aspects.  It is important to discuss this as a church and seek God’s direction.  Then try to discern whether your convictions are due to personal objections or violations of Godly principles.  (Personal Objections?  Caesar’s turf.  Godly principle violations?  God’s turf).  The state will be more likely to recognize an individual family’s claim to a religious exemption, if the Church can show that they have established a clearly stated position of what Godly principle is violated - in writing.  I would recommend that all church bodies put these thoughts into words.  I have aided churches in the past in doing so and can provide samples of what a group can come up with.  If your convictions are more personal objections (health reasons/concerns, etc.), then a religious exemption would not be appropriate.  
 Some have asked me how our family has done vaccines. We have given our children the required vaccines.  (They are now all young adults.)  Lori and I felt that we needed to not protect only our children from disease but also our neighbor’s children and the elderly as well, through our community’s herd immunity (even if there was a slightly increased risk to our children).  For those still fearful of the adverse effects to their children – we understand; one of our children contracted a severe, life-changing complication due to a vaccine she received before we had the blessing of adopting her.  The vaccine in question is no longer being used because of this specific adverse effect.  This problem was discovered largely due to vigilant clinicians and parents, working together, seeking for the best way to care for the next generation. 

Finally, regarding the morally-tainted vaccines, we (as a family) had the following thoughts. Since the tainted vaccines have been used primarily for community health, we felt that if the authorities could provide us with an ethical vaccine, we would comply.  Sadly, they didn’t seem willing to accommodate our views for the mentioned tainted vaccines.  Fortunately, we were able to obtain alternative vaccines from Japan as a substitute for those vaccines that were tainted (those derived from, and produced on, aborted fetal cell tissue cultures).  Yet if we would not have been able to obtain these vaccines, (and since our family was taking on a small, but increased risk, and since the risk to the community was also small), if an ethical vaccine was not available that did not use aborted fetal tissue cell lines, we would feel the need to conscientiously refuse to use them, even if there was no religious or philosophical exemption provided by the state. 
Currently, I am working with an organization to import the tainted vaccines from Japan.  We hope to hear of an answer in the next 6 months.  If this fails to materialize, we have an alternate plan.  Please continue checking here for updates.
In conclusion, may He grant each of us wisdom and conviction: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”  (Proverbs 4:7) 

As a final summary, and for your reference, I have made the following summaries: 
Vaccines that are given to try to eradicate now rare diseases (Primarily used to create herd immunity): 
  • Mumps 
  • Measles
  • Rubella 
  • Polio 

Main Vaccines produced on aborted fetal tissue cell strains: 
  • Mumps 
  • Measles 
  • Rubella 
  • Varicella (some - Shingrix is OK) 
  • Hepatits A 
  • Polio (some - Imovax, IPOL are OK)) 
  • Rabies (some - Rabavert is OK) 

Top Vaccines that offer significant protection to potentially common serious diseases:
(If you had to choose the most important vaccines to have, these are every-day life savers.)
  • DTP (The tetanus spore is ubiquitous (soil, animal, human stools, with up to 300,000 cases of lock jaw/year worldwide). 
  • H. flu (Not to be confused with the “flu” shot) 
  • Influenza (80,000 deaths in the US in 2018!) 
  • Pneumococcus (The “pneumonia” shot – for adults AND children. 900,000 cases/year in the USA, about 50,000 deaths per year SINCE the vaccine was introduced. 40% unvaccinated.) 


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  9. 18%20SUPPORT%20DOCUMENTS/impact%20statements/fiscal/senate/SB1433%20INT%20FI.PDF

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