A very bad bill that we wanted to defeat, HB 1040 ( SB 736) has passed both the Senate and House Health Committees with an amendment. The original bill would allow pharmacists to give any recommended vaccine to any child 3 or older without parental consent or knowledge and without a prescription. The Federal Government had passed such a law in August 2020 for Emergency Use and the Federal law already gives this authorization to pharmacists nationwide. The Federal law is supposed to expire when the Pandemic ends. The Maryland bill would have made these authorizations for pharmacists permanent.
Due to testimony, calls and emails from constitutents, the bill did not pass as written but also was not killed. Instead, the health committees amended the bill to say there will be a “study” to see what the outcome is as pharmacists proceed to vaccinate any child 3 years or older with any vaccine without parental consent or knowledge between July 1 2021 and December 1, 2022. If the Pandemic ends before then, the Maryland bill will no longer be in effect.
The bill was hurriedly passed without time for us to respond to the General Assembly. It has been forwarded to the Governor for his signature so our only option for possibly stopping the bill (HB1040) from becoming law is to email and call him to veto the bill THIS WEEK. There are some good arguments we can make about why he should veto HB1040 which are given below. But we will need to get as many people writing and calling as possible. He will not be signing bills until after the session ends on April 12 but we need to get our messages to him asap. Link to revised bill followed by link to Governor for action. https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2021RS/bills/hb/hb1040T.pdf
EMAIL OR CALL GOVERNOR HOGAN
or call Governor Hogan at 410-974-3901 or 800-811-8336
“ Please do not sign HB1040 into law”
Talking Points :
- A study will not address the underlying concern that this bill undermines parental rights.
- A study will not address the solicitation and possible exploitation of youth to get vaccinated driven by a pharmacy’s desire for profit.
- A study will not change the fact that youth are not able to assess the risks of vaccination or whether their health history counter indicates vaccine uptake.
- A study will not address the parent’s possible lack of awareness that their child has been vaccinated.
- A study won’t be able to track adverse outcomes from vaccination because adverse events will not generally be reported to a pharmacy. If a child feels ill, the parent will take them to their doctor or a hospital, not to a pharmacist and the parent may not know that the child was vaccinated thereby being deprived of knowledge of a possible causal connection.
- A study will not focus on the efficacy and safety of childhood vaccines. It will focus primarily on vaccine uptake in pharmacies and will gather confidential information which might be used for marketing.
- The very act of conducting a study sends the wrong message. Marylanders would never embrace such a law which puts children at risk and removes parental rights. Bills like this in the past have vigorously been defeated by parental protest. The only reason it got this far this year is because of the EA Federal law which citizens never got to vote on and Covid which has suppressed citizen participation in Maryland law making.
- The premise for the Federal government passing this law was that children were not getting vaccinated because parents were avoiding the doctor’s office during Covid. However that really does not matter because there was no public safety concern since children were not in school and not mingling with others. When school starts again, parents will again take their children to the pediatrician and vaccinations will resume as usual. There never was a need for this law. Childhood vaccine uptake in Maryland is robust at 99%.
- Children would be used as guinea pigs in an experimental process which could have dire consequences for them while pharmacists would have no accountability.
- A study would be a waste of tax payers money and fails to address the important fundamental issues mentioned above.
THIS IS OUR LAST CHANCE TO TRY TO KILL THIS TERRIBLE BILL
Killing it won’t keep pharmacies from acting on the Federal law until the Pandemic ends but it will send a message that citizens do not ever want this kind of bill to become permanent in Maryland.
Please share with family and friends to take action