Currently, 47 out of 50 states in the U.S. allow parents to make decisions regarding administering vaccines to their children, by providing religious and philosophical exemptions. California joined West Virginia and Mississippi in 2015 by removing these exemptions, despite widespread opposition by the public, doctors, and scientists who are not among the vaccine extremists. While it is too early to tell how increased childhood vaccination rates in California will affect childhood health outcomes, West Virginia and Mississippi have some of the worst childhood health outcomes along with high vaccination rates. Now, vaccine extremists in New Jersey want to follow these states and restrict parental choice by passing legislation that restricts conscientious objections to vaccines.
Megan Duncan, Alanda Watson and Denise Mercurius will report to work Friday morning, as they have done every day for years. Once there, they expect to be fired. The three women — employees of Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey, an agency that helps the elderly and the disadvantaged throughout the state — are among a rising number of workers facing termination for refusing to get a flu shot or, as an alternative, wear a surgical mask in the workplace. What differentiates Duncan, Watson and Mercurius from most of those fired, however, is that they're not doctors or nurses, and they don't work in a hospital. They spend their days in a corporate office in suburban Burlington Township, crunching numbers or dealing with billing issues.
New Jersey politicians are making moves to restrict religious exemptions to refuse vaccines. Bill A1931 is scheduled for a 10:00 am Assembly Health Committee meeting on MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2015. According to NVIC: A1931 requires a written statement "explaining how the administration of the vaccine conflicts with the bona fide religious tenets or practices of the student, or the parent or guardian." As such it requires parents to explain and ultimately justify their deeply held personal and private religious beliefs to the government.