Protecting vaccine choice rights is not just about protecting our children, it's also about protecting an adult's rights to refuse vaccines without fear of losing a job, college or graduate school entrance or whatever other restriction may be imposed if vaccine choice rights are not protected. It's important for all of us to know that children are not the only ones being targeted for vaccines.
Click here to read a draft of the National Vaccine Program Office's (NVPO) National Adult Immunization Plan.
According to the NAIP draft, the 2010 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Vaccine Plan (NVP), is not on track to meet the targets it had set for 2020. As a result, The National Vaccine Advisory Committee and "numerous stakeholder groups" have emphasized the need for focused attention on adult vaccines and vaccination and a need for a "national adult immunization strategic plan." In other words, the push to gather information on adult vaccination/immunity status and to vaccinate adults is on!
Before I continue with information about the NAIP draft, I want to share a situation that happened just last week -- before I discovered the NAIP draft. I learned of a healthy young woman of childbearing years who visited a new physician for the first time. His practice was promoted as one that believed in a more holistic or integrative approach to healthcare. It was affiliated with a major hospital and the physician accepted the woman's medical insurance plan which was a major factor in why she chose that particular physician. (Major hospital and medical insurance acceptance probably should have been two red flags!!!) The appointment lasted about 20 minutes during which time, the young woman was encouraged to get a tetanus shot right then and there -- for "routine" purposes. She did not have an injury that might warrant a tetanus shot. It's also important to note that you can not get just a tetanus shot, so the shot would most likely have been a combination of diphtheria and tetanus or diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. (She declined the shot.) The physician also suggested that blood tests be done to determine the woman's immunization status to MMR, as well as other "non-routine" blood tests. This all might sound innocent enough, but in light of the recent measles outbreak and the current frenzy to push vaccines, I couldn't help but wonder if this was an attempt to gather information into a data base that could one day be used to mandate additional vaccines for this woman if her titers did not match whatever "current science and experts" say they should be. (See 3.2.1 below.)
Some might think that my learning of this incident and then just days later my discovery of the NAIP draft might be simply a "coincidence." However, if you know me, you've probably heard me say, "Coincidences are just God's way of remaining anonymous!"
One of the four key goals of the NAIP is to "Increase community demand for adult immunizations." Pages 21 through 23 detail how this goal will be achieved. Not only will your health care professionals be recommending and/or delivering adult vaccinations at every visit; but community and faith-based groups will be called upon to use their influence as well.
Excerpts from the NAIP . . .
"3.2.1 Encourage all providers, including providers in complementary settings, to implement the NVAC Standards for Adult Immunization Practice, which include assessing patients’ vaccination status at every clinical encounter, strongly recommending needed immunizations, and either administering vaccines (including documentation in an IIS*) or referring patients to others who administer vaccinations.
3.3: Educate and encourage other groups (e.g., community- and faith-based groups) to promote the importance of adult immunization. Prior research has shown that outreach on preventive services, through faith-based organizations and individual faith communities, is effective in increasing uptake of these services."
*IIS stands for "Immunization information systems"
Comments on the draft are being accepted until March 9, 2015. See "Solicitation of Written Comments on the Draft National Adult Immunization Plan" for information on how and where to submit your comments.
"HHS invites input from a broad range of stakeholders including individuals and organizations that have interests in adult immunization efforts and the role of HHS in advancing those efforts. Examples of potential responders include, but are not limited to, the following: general public; advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, and public interest organizations; academics, professional societies, and healthcare organizations; public health officials and immunization program managers; provider groups including all physician and non-physician providers that administer immunization services to adults, including pharmacists; and representatives from the private sector."
Please see my next post about vaccine recommendations during pregnancy.