A local movement against mandatory vaccines will take to the St. Francois County Courthouse Square in Farmington at 10 a.m. on Saturday, according to a Facebook event entered by Coimin O. Brolaigh.
“This is not an issue of being for or against vaccines. This is simply protecting our right to choose,” the event’s post reads. “There will be various guest speakers. This is a peaceful awareness to protest vaccine mandates.”
The gathering is part of the nationwide Millions March Against Mandatory Vaccines effort, which works to stop state initiatives requiring vaccinations among the populace.
“Mandated vaccines means you don’t get a choice ever. Mandated vaccines paves the way for mandated medical care across the board. This march for freedom affects everyone,” according to the Facebook event’s post.
Brolaigh, who identified herself as Kim Brawley in Facebook messages, said she decided to participate in the nationwide Millions March Against Mandatory Vaccines “because it is a movement of the people, by the people, for the people. It is not for or against vaccines; it is simply against mandatory vaccines.”
“It is my responsibility, it is each individual’s responsibility, to preserve our country’s freedoms, lest they be diminished, for our children and our children’s children,” she wrote. “If we lose on vaccines, we will completely lose on the right to sovereignty over our own bodies. There is no such thing as freedom if we are not free to determine what is and is not injected into us.”
She added that yellow light bulbs on front porches are also being used to show solidarity with the effort.
According to the nonpartisan website procon.org, all 50 states currently require vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis; polio; measles and rubella (49 states also require mumps vaccination); and the varicella, or chickenpox, vaccination.
Forty-three states require hepatitis B vaccination to enter kindergarten. Alabama, Illinois, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Texas do not. Some states require Hib, PCV, flu, and Hep A vaccines to enter kindergarten. Connecticut is the only state to require nine vaccinations. Many states require more vaccines as children age, such as in West Virginia which requires the meningitis vaccine at the CDC-recommended age of 11-12 years old.
All 50 states allow medical exemptions, 45 states allow religious exemptions, and 15 states allow philosophical or personal-belief exemptions. Missouri allows for religious and medical exemptions, but not philosophical exemptions.
In Missouri, two vaccine-related House bills were introduced last legislative session but did not advance:
- HB 711, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Morris, R-140, prohibits the discrimination of children with vaccination exemptions for health or religious reasons.
- HB 1164, sponsored by Dottie Bailey, R-110, adds provisions relating to informed consent for vaccinations.