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Sunday, October 11, 2009

NJ Rallies Again -- Join Us 10/16/09 At Governor's Debate in Wayne, NJ... H1N1 Shot For My Kids?

October 11, 2009
From Louise Kuo Habakus

Join us in person or in spirit this Friday, October 16, 2009 starting at 4:00 pm in Wayne, New Jersey at the William Paterson University, the location for the Governor's second televised debate, outside the Shea Performing Arts Center.

Yes, the date does sound familiar! It will be exactly one year to the day since last year's "Freedom of Choice" rally in Trenton, when we sent a message to New Jersey legislators and to the entire country that, in response to an ever increasing number of mandated shots for school attendance, New Jersey's parents demand vaccination choice.

Governor Corzine has failed to respond to our appeal for choice. Do you have something you want to say to New Jersey's next Governor? And to the entire New Jersey Assembly which is also up for re-election (or retirement) on November 3rd and will be reading the press after Friday's rally?

Click HERE for details about the rally. And click HERE for the flyer. You'll want to make signs, arrange a carpool, get childcare (or bring the kids), and send the flyer out far and wide. Check back later for instructions on how to submit a debate question on vaccination choice for the three guys running for Governor.

Please rally with us in Wayne, New Jersey on Friday, October 16. You don't get too many opportunities to stand up for your rights and send a strong message to political candidates while the media is already in attendance, just moments prior to a televised debate during one of the most hotly contested gubernatorial elections in recent history.


Last year, New Jersey was the first state to mandate flu shots as a condition of daycare and pre-school admission. This year, New York is the first state to mandate flu shots for healthcare workers as a condition of employment. The military also mandated flu shots for uniformed personnel.

Who's next? We must know that teachers, social workers and the police cannot be far behind.

America is taking to the streets to protest. This coming week, we'll be protesting in Wayne, New Jersey. Last week, Albany, New York dominated local and national news with its vaccination choice rally that drew a diverse crowd of 700+ participants, healthcare workers to be sure, but many concerned parents, professionals and constitutional defense groups were also in strong attendance. I was there and joined over a dozen other speakers who traveled a distance to stand together in Albany and have our voices heard. Listen to my short speech HERE... nearly 2000 visits and climbing!


When you force people to get shots, it makes them mad. People know that vaccination can sometimes go terribly wrong and government should not apply such a heavy hand.

If the risks and benefits are fully disclosed and we are permitted to make our own decisions, we will figure out the best thing to do for ourselves and our families. We will also understand that it is our decision to make. Above all, parents want to protect their children.

If the risks are underplayed and people are forced to get shots, if further steps are taken to insulate government, industry and doctors from liability so we are entirely on our own when injuries and death occur, we stop trusting. There's a big trust gap. And the system becomes broken... perhaps irrevocably, as officials ironically bring about the very thing they most dread: lack of confidence in the national childhood vaccination program.

Give people choice. Here's why (keep reading)...


The bottom line is very compelling. Vaccine rates do not tumble in states that offer the philosophical exemption to mandatory school shots. Click HERE for an interactive map that allows you to see the medical, religious and philosophical exemptions taken by state.

Carefully note that states offering vaccination choice do not necessarily have higher vaccination rates than those that do not offer this right to health freedom. Check out the following comparison of vaccine exemption rates from the 2007-2008 school year as reported by the CDC:

Comparison of vaccine exemption rates 2007-2008

States with vaccination choice

  • 0.6% Arkansas

  • 0.9% Oklahoma

  • 1.2% North Dakota

  • 1.4% New Mexico

  • 1.8% California

  • 2.3% Arizona

States without vaccination choice

  • 4.1% Oregon

  • 4.0% Illinois

  • 2.9% Alaska

  • 1.6% Montana


  • 0.8% New Jersey

Here's an interesting case study to prove the growing vaccine trust gap. New Jersey's exemption rate during the 2007-2008 school year was 0.8%. The following year, the Garden State mandated four new shots for school. Parents got mad, organized and protested. And look what happened... more parents stopped vaccinating! Just two days ago, North reported that the percent of NJ children aged 19-35 months receiving all recommended doses of key vaccines tumbled, from 38% in 2007 to 12% in 2009.

New Jersey mandates more shots than any other state. And this downward pressure on vaccination uptake is not new. Read this March 2009 article: U.S. Survey Shows Fewer N.J. Children Getting Vaccinated.

There are 32 states in our country that don't offer vaccination choice. Will they get a clue? Or will vaccination rates continue to decline as parents battle public health officials over the turf that has become our bodies? Who gets to decide?


Read my blog post!

On Friday, the CDC announced that sixteen kids died of the swine flu in one week. And then we hear that H1N1 flu is taking off. We know where this is leading. In the inimitable words of Nancy Snyderman, "Just get your damn vaccine!"

"The H1N1 sky is falling" comes on the heels of reports that very large numbers of parents and adults don't want the shots, for their kids or themselves.

Now this is a very large problem. We're in a recession. No one is in the mood to hear about government wasting our tax dollars. People don't want the swine flu shots? But we've spent billions of dollars buying them! We have ordered 251 million doses of them, for crying out loud! Not to mention the big bucks spent on Tamiflu, face masks and Elmo.

So what to do? How to increase the uptake? I don't pretend to live inside the mind of our intrepid public health officials. But it seems we have two viable choices. We force people to get them. We scare the heck out of them. Or we try both of them out at the same time.

In my latest blog post, I offer some observations on H1N1 and the swine flu vaccine for parents who are tempted to rush out and get the shot for their kids. Take a deep breath, roll up your sleeves, go online, and do some research first.

Keep your wits about you. Flu season won't last forever.

Louise Kuo Habakus

©2009 Life Health Choices | Blossom Cove Road Red Bank NJ 07701

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