Gar*dasil update
Saturday, March 10, 2007
It's Not Just About the Shots Anymore

The Big M's "let's pay for Vioxx litigation" campaign for mandating an HPV vaccine for girls is still in full swing, despite "not publicly campaigning". (See my thoughts on this here. You may recall that one my main objections is the usurpation of parental rights.)

The Virginia legislature passed HB 2035, mandating all of the vaccines for VA children, including the new HPV shots. I noticed that they mention getting Oral Polio Vaccine as an option, ironic because I was told that was recalled quite a while ago. Seems some kids who received the OPV also got polio itself so they went exclusively to IPV.

I read the text of the bill (even though I'm not in Virginia), and noticed something that was quite disturbing. Here's the text:

...any physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, licensed institutional health care provider, local or district health department, the Virginia Immunization Information System, and the Department of Health may share immunization and patient locator information without parental authorization , including, but not limited to, the month, day, and year of each administered immunization; the patient's name, address, telephone number, birth date, and social security number; and the parents' names. The immunization information; the patient's name, address, telephone number, birth date, and social security number; and the parents' names shall be confidential and shall only be shared for the purposes set out in this subsection
(emphasis mine).

That's right, Virginians! Any Physician's assistant, nurse, or health department worker can get a list that includes the name of your child, their social security number, their address and phone number. I realize that it is "only supposed to be shared for the purposes of immunization tracking" - but how many child molestors and other baddies are going to care about that? Apparently, becoming a clerk at the local small town health department could potentially be quite lucrative to anyone in the side business of identity theft or with dark procilivities.

Why so disturbing?

Well, nurses nowadays aren't always sweet middle aged ladies in white caps:

Christopher Irvin molested a 4 year old girl in his care last year - that's just the FIRST case that popped up when I googled "Nurse + m*o*le*st". (The stars are there because the last thing I want is for someone to stumble on MY site googling that phrase!)

I'm not saying all nurses are bad, not at all. I am saying that it is not uncommon for someone to choose a profession that would give him or her access to victims, and slip in as wolves among sheep. And now they can get your personal information.

The Virginia Department of Health has openings for hourly workers with no benefits. Their employees are, I'm sure, on par with employees anywhere else - mostly people just wanting to make a living, but all it takes is one bad apple.

Legislation is pending or going to be introduced soon throughout the country. Make sure you know what it says, even the non-medical details, and make sure your legislators know how you feel. Recently, legislation in Colorado that would require a "vaccine registry" was scrapped due to public outcry (based on privacy issues like this one). You can make a difference!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/10/2007 10:58:00 AM | Permalink | |