Two bills have been presented at the statehouse. They are a great start but let’s push for the full victory. These two bills are a step in the right direction and a HUGE shout out goes out to Justin Price for putting forward legislation in support of our efforts. Special thanks to all the co signors of the bill also. We still want to push harder and get the mandate reversed. H7475 makes an edit that any vaccine for a disease that is transmitted by sexual contact can be opted out by simply writing a letter vs having to have a religious exemption. This does NOT reverse the mandate, and still has it on the mandated schedule which will create many parents to still not be properly informed they have options and do not have to get this vaccine. H7476 requires the Dept of Health to hold public meetings prior to any mandates being finalized; though this is good that we would be more fully aware for future vaccine mandates, there is still not a voting process and the Dept of Health will still be able to make the final decision as they want to. We have made great strides but NOW the effort from each of you to email/call/&meet with your legislators is EXTREMELY important. We have created a RI HPV info pack for you to use, and can also be sent to your legislators. Not all legislators will read all the information, so be sure to highlight what is most important to you, then can also link the pack.
Do you know you can register to get updates on bills via the billtracker? You can do this for any RI bill that is of particular interest to you, so you can stay in the know. Simply click here to do so.
A couple points highlighted in the RI HPV info pack;
~ RI Dept of Health has stated that by mandating a vaccine it gives more people access to the vaccine through the free vaccine program. This is NOT true. The HPV vaccine is on the program that is federally defined, it does not have to be mandated for anyone to have access to it for free if they want it and can not afford it.
~ Federal HPV Grant budget for RI is $638,879 for Aug 2014 to Oct 2016
Over the months there have been multiple school districts who voted to send a resolution to the Governor to reverse the HPV vaccine mandate. The petition has over 2400 signatures and continues to grow. You can find the petition here to sign and share with others.
The fundraising campaign is going strong and we thank you for your recent donations. If you have not donated please consider doing so, every $15 adds up to a war chest full and ready to fight this all the way in the for the win. The war chest is used to hold the legislators that do not support reversing the mandate accountable. We are asking each of you to tell three friends. To donate yourself (or even if you can not) then to tell three friends and encourage them to give if they can. Each of them ask three friends and so on. In this way we can make a fundraising campaign a small task for each person, that yields large results. Donate to the #NOHPVmandateRI campaign here and share the link via email or personal message with at least three friends.
There will be hearings at the state house and times ahead to hit the street and knock on doors, and always to hang signs up too. Are you willing to give the extra mile of time and energy? We would love to hear from you.
It is very exciting to have all of us work so hard for so many months and to see it making change in RI. Each of you made this possible, and it is because each of you pushing that much more; we can and we will win the fight. Thank you for continuing to support and advocate for this movement.
The Rhode Islanders against mandated HPV vaccinations Core Group Team