Health leaders voice concerns to Miramant over vaccine stand

By Stephen Betts | Apr 12, 2019
Photo by: Stephen Betts State Sen. David Miramant, D-Camden, met Friday, April 12, with people concerned about his stance on requiring vaccinations for schoolchildren.

Rockport — Pediatricians and school nurses, along with other citizens, met Friday, April 12, with State Sen. David Miramant, D-Camden, to voice concerns about his opposition to eliminating most exemptions for school-aged vaccinations.

At the end of the hour-long meeting, the Democratic state senator said he was still not certain how he would vote on legislation to eliminate the exemptions for vaccinations based on religious and philosophical objections. The proposed law -- LD 798 -- would continue to allow exemptions for legitimate medical reasons.

Miramant said the lack of exemptions would end up kicking children out of schools, but that was met with considerable objections by those in attendance, who said the choice not to vaccinate is that of the parents.

Dr. Adeline Winkes, a pediatrician, said she was concerned that the current law -- which allows exemptions for religious and philosophical reasons -- puts not only those children at risk of serious preventable diseases, but other children.

Winkes said there are valid reasons for a child not to be given a live vaccine, such as if the child were undergoing chemotherapy. But those same children could be at risk if a classmate exposes them to a disease because they are not vaccinated. She said the children who are fragile could become severely ill or die if they contract these preventable diseases.

"I read through your testimony," Winkes said, referring to Miramant's statements to the Legislature's Education and Cultural Affairs Committee, which reviewed the bill. "I was disturbed by things that I think have very little basis in scientific fact."

She said research that has since been determined to be fraudulent still is being circulated on the internet. She said that he is a public figure and when he talks, it gets attention.

One speaker pointed out that 90 percent of people get vaccinated, and that Miramant is representing the 10 percent opposed to vaccines.

The Camden Democrat said that 60 percent of the people who testified at the Legislature's public hearing on LD 798 and 60 percent of the emails he has received are opposed to the bill to reduce exemptions.

The doctors also took aim at Miramant's claim that drug companies dictate the schedule for when children receive vaccinations. Winkes said those schedules are developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

Janis Hogan, the school nurse for the Five-Town Community School District, said Camden Hills Regional High School has one of the highest rates of unvaccinated students in the state. She expressed support for the medical profession's recommendations for immunizations.

Those at the meeting also said that Miramant was incorrect when he said children are required to receive 72 vaccinations during their childhood. The number is far less, they noted.

Dr. William Stephenson, another local pediatrician, spoke at length with Miramant to counter some of the arguments that anti-vaccination advocates raise. He pointed out that one concern is that there is aluminum in a particular vaccine, but the amount is so minute that a person gets more aluminum from drinking one can of soda. He also pointed out that mercury is no longer in vaccines, even though there was no science to show ill effects from the type used.

Joe Kleinman compared the disreputable studies linking vaccines to autism to the flat Earth theory.

The Legislature has held a public hearing and work session on the bill. No vote in the House or the Senate has been scheduled.

Comments (6)
Posted by: Louisa Enright | Apr 20, 2019 10:12

Here is a vaccine assessment from an immunologist with outstanding credentials:

Posted by: Louisa Enright | Apr 20, 2019 10:03

It might be useful to read a history of the measles vaccine:

And yes, it has valid citations included.

Additionally, demonizing parents who chose not to vaccinate is not useful.  They are not a bunch of “loony tunes” mindlessly searching the internet.  Most are educated, thoughtful people and many have children who have been vaccine damaged, which is why they are not going to go away.

It is instructive that Maine does not collect any data on vaccine injuries.  And the so-called national “Vaccine Court” is not working, which results further in this lack of data.  Basically, the vaccine industry has no legal responsibility for its products. The “safety” tests industry performs are rigged.  The CDC is not protecting you in this area; its vaccine component is part of the rigged system, witness the saga of the whistleblower William Thompson.

Doctors are not reporting vaccine damage properly.  Most have no training in that area.  Most don’t seem to know the difference between an epidemiological study and actual, hard science studies at the cellular level.  The former cannot show cause, only possible correlations.  And lets remember that MDs are practitioners, not scientists.  Where are they getting their flawed information?  There are plenty of immunologists, with degrees from premiere schools, warning about the current vaccine policies.  Go to the National Center for Vaccine Safety for this kind of information.  This information is not appearing in mainstream media for a variety of reasons which don’t involve the validity of what the scientists are saying.

MDs are not necessarily reliable narrators in this issue as many are now not in their own practices, but are part of a larger system as there is a national monopoly formation occuring in medicine.  For today’s MDs, it’s tow the party line or lose your job, hospital privilenges, be demonized, and, for some, lose a cash cow that involves industry payouts.  We’ve seen this playbook before with lead and cigarettes.

More and more measles boosters are not going to solve the current, serious problems with measles.  We need to understand what has occurred and move toward using real, cellular-level science to solve the problem that has been created.  We need to make the vaccine industry responsible for its products.  We need to stop the hysteria and to start asking valid questions and insisting on objective, scientific answers.




Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Apr 14, 2019 07:23

For once, Dale, we agree.  If we can't trust science then where do we go for reliable information. Are the anti-vaxxers going to give up other modern conveniences the minute another crack-pot theory pops up?  Do cell phones cause brain cancer?  Wind mills?  Power lines?


And just where do individual rights end and the rights of society begin.  I wouldn't mind the anti-vaxxers if they only harmed themselves -though harming one's children through unrealistic beliefs comes close to child abuse- but that they actually present a danger to the people around them is becoming more and more obvious.  Does their right to chose negate the rights of others to be safe?  Will we end up with forced isolation for those looked on as spreaders of disease?  A short time ago people freaked out over anyone coming from areas of Ebola stricken Africa.  There's now a growing epidemic of chicken pox in Bangaldesh among Burmese refugees with what ever mutations that develop in those crowded conditions.  By refusing what safety science has to offer are we simply regressing into an era where our cemeteries will once again have family plots with children lined up next to their parents.  As the world regresses into ignorance are we willing to live with the consequences?

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Apr 13, 2019 17:17

I agree with Mr. Landrith. When our government continually spreads false propaganda it is difficult to know what is true and how much is just government intrusion. It is a tough decision, Mr. Miramount, it is a tough decision.  Remember "Reefer Madness"?

Posted by: Dale E. Landrith Sr. | Apr 13, 2019 11:23

I have stated publicly in an article in these newspapers that our children were vaccinated and I think that is the best choice.  However, I do not support the state mandating decisions that should be made by parents.  Let's get off the "Miramant only represents 10% of the people".  He is listening to the 60% of the people who have contacted him.  Be realistic.  If 90% were against vaccination, would folks be rising up to say that vaccinations are bad.  I respect the medical people and again say that I believe that vaccinating your children is the best.  However, not at the expense of government intrusion into the family.

Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Apr 13, 2019 09:27

Miramant is only representing the anti-vaxxers - not all his constituents - and seems to be a fan of junk science.

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