One major factor that can influence where you choose to live and raise a family is vaccine law. These are typically set at the state level, but can be further modified by local municipalities.
Wait, doesn’t everyone say vaccines are totally safe and harmless? Why care whether you can opt out of vaccines?
In point of fact, two government services belie the claim of totally harmless vaccines: VAERS and VICP.
- VAERS is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System co-sponsored by the CDC and FDA. Certain scenarios require health providers to submit a report, while others can be voluntarily submitted. Since its inception in 1990, VAERS has received over 200,000 reports of adverse events at a rate of about 30,000 reports per year, of which about 13% are classified as serious (disability, hospitalization, life-threatening illness, or death.) [Official Source]. While criticism is correct that these reports are not further investigated and do not prove that vaccines caused the reported adverse event, such a system would be completely unnecessary if it were absolutely certain that vaccines never ever caused harm. This system exists because there is some level of serious risk, no matter how small.
- VICP or Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, aka Vaccine Court, was established in 1986 by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act to prevent lawsuits from financially threatening vaccine manufacturing companies (source). Petitioners seeking awards must show causation-in-fact to the level of preponderance-of-evidence. Since VICP began accepting petitions in 1988, as of 01JAN2017 a total of 17,732 claims have been filed, of which 5,143 were awarded compensation totaling about $3.5 billion [Official Source]. Admittedly, this is a vanishingly small number of cases out of the total number of vaccines administered in the same time period, but freedom from a nanny state means it should be each individual’s choice whether they or their children will take this risk.
So, do the states in the American Redoubt let you make this choice for you and your family?
A good site to check for a quick visual map as well as detailed laws state-by-state is the National Vaccine Information Center.