Lawmaker proposes to take away the religious exemption for vaccines to attend schools

A Vermont lawmaker has proposed a bill that would make it more difficult to avoid taking mainline vaccines for a child to attend schools in Vermont.

Introduced last week by Sen. Brian Campion, D-Bennington, S.153 would put an end to the religious exemption for taking these vaccines, leaving only a health-related exemption available.

“This bill proposes to eliminate the religious exemption to the requirement that an individual receives age- appropriate immunizations prior to enrollment at a school or a child care facility,” the bill’s description reads.

To attend schools, Vermont currently requests that students take vaccines for several known diseases such as tetanus and measles. Over the year, public debate over COVID vaccine safety has renewed debates over requirements for vaccines in general.

On Twitter earlier this year, former Burlington City Councilor Ed Adrian weighed in on the notion of getting rid of the religious exemption for Vermonters.

Currently, school children are not required to take COVID vaccines to attend schools. However, Campion has expressed interest in starting a discussion to change that.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has footnoted that parents are seeing their children develop complications due to COVID vaccines.

“Approximately 5.1% of parents reported that their child was unable to perform normal daily activities on the day after receipt of dose 1, and 7.4% after receipt of dose 2. Approximately 1% of parents reported seeking medical care in the week after vaccination,” the CDC reported in its December 2021 publication.

Regarding data for non-COVID vaccines, reported in 2018 that payouts for vaccine injuries had already reached a new milestone.

“The payouts for vaccine injuries just went past the whopping $4 billion mark. Using the government’s own conclusion that only 1% of all vaccine injuries are reported, the $4 billion is just the tip of the iceberg,” their report states. “Despite assurances from CDC and our Federal agencies that all vaccines are safe, the payouts say otherwise.”

When the philosophical exemption was disbanded by Vermont Lawmakers back in 2015, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. visited Vermont to testify that the state should be wary of the pharmaceutical industry’s influence over the regulatory agencies that they rely on for vaccine policy guidance.

“Before you remove the parental power to decide what kind of medical procedures their child has, let’s make sure the regulatory agency is actually functioning,” Kennedy said.

While Vermont and much of the nation continue to discuss vaccine mandates, Japan has adopted a formal vaccination policy that puts to rest any notion that vaccines will be forced or coerced on its citizens.

“Although we encourage all citizens to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, it is not compulsory or mandatory. Vaccination will be given only with the consent of the person to be vaccinated after the information provided,” Japan’s ministry of health states.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Nate Ivey

8 thoughts on “Lawmaker proposes to take away the religious exemption for vaccines to attend schools

  1. What countries ban religion?
    What forms of government ban religion?
    What theocracies ban religion?

    And here is Vermonts position.

    You can tell a tree by its fruit.

  2. Well isn’t Bri Bri just the the cutest little nazi you ever did see… Forced meds by
    government decree, what a novel idea for the freedom hating Demonrat… What’s
    with the D’snP’s all hating on personal freedom to choose and control one’s own life?

    I was able to get a Religious exemption after not convincing my personal doctor
    that I felt the jab was a danger to my Heart conditions. My heat doc would agree with me but quit over the fact the hospital wanted everyone to push the vax..

    So anyone pushing the elimination of a safety valve out which is also a Constitutional right shouldn’t be in government to begin with.. another case of stupid voters not realizing the damage they do…

  3. Once we take away the right to refuse medication without consequence, where does this end? Where does it end that the state can essentially force individuals to take medications for the greater good? Will the scientific community decide that we all need to have sedatives in our drinking water so we can “stay safe” from violent tendencies, for the greater good? There was no problem with allowing some dissenters in our school system: we survived, didn’t we? And we preserved medical self-determination. Now petty tyrants want to take this away.

    Many argue that there’s always a choice, but this is a false argument. Yes, there always is a choice for the wealthy: they can hire tutors if they disagree. They can even bribe physicians to “vaccinate” their children. But for those who are at the bottom of the economic ladder, the choice between submitting or else homeschooling their children can have grave economic consequences.

    It’s also a false argument because we might say that modest penalties are only meant as encouragement– such as the $5 fine that Henning Jacobson had to pay for refusing the smallpox vaccine during an epidemic– but the problem with that is, who gets to decide which punishments are “modest” or “justified” or just “encouragement”? We saw that problem in the evolution of this doctrine (that the state is justified in coercing medication) in the 1927 Supreme Court decision to allow forced sterilization, “for the greater good.” That policy was, of course, completely justifiable in the logic of the times.

    Now people who want to force vaccines make no bones about it: they want to make it so uncomfortable for those who refuse that they’ll essentially have no choice, and will comply.

    This is insanity: the state should never force individuals to take medications or medical treatment without their consent, and with no penalty for refusal. We have numerous examples of atrocities that happened because we ignored this basic principle.

    Perhaps, though, Vermont is once again on the train of eugenics thinking, when the state can do such things “for the greater good”? It was perfectly justified then, wasn’t it: that’s why it happened. And just like then, petty tyrants will find reasons to justify their actions today.

    Haters gotta hate. Tyrants gotta tyrant.

  4. if i were dumb enough to have my kids goto public school and they mandated it i would just sue them .. i pay taxes and i pay alot.. thats my school

  5. The Sen. Brian Campion, D-Bennington needs to be thrown out as a danger to the people of Vermont.

  6. There appears to be a whole lot of nonsensical legislative ideas pouring out from Bennington, S.153 is but one.
    The Vermont Constitution is clear on this issue. It appears that some legislators should refer to this document, the one they swore or affirmed an oath to uphold.
    Chapter 1 Article 3 doesn’t take a scholar to read and understand, but if Sen. Campion is having difficulty, here it is:

    That all persons have a natural and unalienable right, to worship Almighty God, according to the dictates of their own consciences and understandings, as in their opinion shall be regulated by the word of God; and that no person ought to, or of right can be compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect or support any place of worship, or maintain any minister, contrary to the dictates of conscience, nor can any person be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right as a citizen, on account of religious sentiments, or peculia[r] mode of religious worship; and that no authority can, or ought to be vested in, or assumed by, any power whatever, that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner control the rights of conscience, in the free exercise of religious worship. Nevertheless, every sect or denomination of christians ought to observe the sabbath or Lord’s day, and keep up some sort of religious worship, which to them shall seem most agreeable to the revealed will of God.

    18th century grammar is still easily understandable now- and the words carry the weight of law in 2022 every bit as much as in 1793.

  7. Let’s ask Mr. Campion if he will accept personal responsibility for any adverse effects that occur, not only for his requiring the injection of the vaccine but for the adverse effects of not taking it.

    The point is, Mr. Campion won’t accept responsibility for anything he does as a legislator. Keep this in mind too, OSHA (or in Vermont’s case – VOSHA) doesn’t accept responsibility for adverse effects involving its regulations either. For example, if VOSHA requires and approves a guard on a woodworking machine, and someone gets hurt for some unforeseen circumstance involving that guard, neither the employer nor the employee can sue VOSHA for the grievance.

    It’s called ‘sovereign immunity’ and is similar to the immunity covering the pharmaceutical companies and the CDC that provide what is otherwise an ‘Emergency Use Authorization’ of an ‘experimental vaccine’.

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”
    C.S. Lewis

    It’s called ‘sovereign immunity’ and is similar to the immunity covering the pharamaseutical companies and the CDC that force the use of what is otherwise an ‘Emergency Use Authorization’.

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