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State Sen. Joe Pennacchio. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Testa, Pennacchio introduce vaccine bills

By Nikita Biryukov, February 18 2020 5:05 pm

State Sens. Joe Pennacchio and Michael Testa introduced a bill that would compel physicians to provide parents with vaccine literature and bar doctors from seeking to transfer a patient or deny them service based on a refusal to vaccinate.

“This legislation is intended to improve upon the haphazard approach to vaccinating our children, which often occurs with no warning to parents and little opportunity to make well-informed choices,” Pennacchio said. “Parents deserve to be told in advance of an appointment about vaccinations that will be recommended, and given information about vaccine ingredients, efficacy, and risk. Vaccines should be treated no differently than any other drugs.”

The pair have drafted two other bills that would make the state liable for ill effects related to vaccines and urge Congress to repeal the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which established a no-fault compensation system to regulate vaccine costs and keep the vaccine supply steady.

“Parents quickly find that the deck is stacked against them when they seek legal recourse for an adverse reaction to a vaccine,” said Testa. “Our State, which mandates some vaccines for schooling, is immune from liability under current State law, while vaccine manufacturers are immune under federal law from lawsuits when people claim injury. Our legislation will help those who are injured by vaccines to get the compensation they deserve and provide manufacturers with extra incentives to ensure their products are safe.”

The legislature is unlikely to move a Republican vaccine bill.

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