JACKSON, Miss. (Jan. 23, 2019) – A bill introduced in the Mississippi Senate would authorize philosophical and religious exemptions from mandatory vaccines. Passage of the bill would also push back against federal vaccine narratives.

Sen. Angela Burks Hill (R-Picayune) introduced Senate Bill 2255 (SB2255) on Jan. 15. Under current Mississippi law, specific vaccines are required in order to enroll children in school or daycare, although medical exemptions are permitted. The proposed law would allow for additional exemptions, based on philosophical and religious grounds.

Since the 1960s, human cells from the tissue of aborted fetuses have been used in the production of certain vaccines. In the process, aborted human fetal cell cultures are used for growing viruses, which are then used in the preparation of inactivated and live virus vaccines. [1] Some cite this use of aborted fetal cell lines as a basis for their religious opposition to vaccines, although parents cite a multitude of other reasons for opposing them.


Passage of SB 2255 would push back against federal vaccine narratives and make it more difficult for the feds to enforce federal vaccine mandates in the future. The bill sets the stage to nullify potential vaccine mandates, which generally have their basis in the vaccine schedules recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although such recommendations are not binding, they can influence policy-makers at the local and state levels to adopt coercive vaccine mandates.

The CDC makes vaccine recommendations in an environment fraught with conflicts of interest. The CDC relies heavily upon research sponsored by the vaccine industry, the very industry that will profit from vaccines being recommended and used. Vaccines are a “cash cow” for the pharmaceutical industry because, unlike with other products sold by the industry, manufacturers are shielded from liability for harm caused by vaccines. This is due to legal protections put in place in 1986 as a result of extensive lobbying by the pharmaceutical industry. The usual product liability rules applicable to manufacturers of other products do not apply to vaccines. Claims of harm caused by vaccines are heard by a special federal vaccine court and any compensation granted by the court is paid by the public, through a surcharge on vaccines, and not paid by the vaccine manufacturers.

Further, a revolving door exists between the vaccine industry and the CDC, with many members of the federal agency taking lucrative jobs with the vaccine industry after leaving the CDC, and vice versa. An example of this is Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Center for Disease Control from 2002 to 2009. She accepted a highly paid position as president of Merck’s vaccine division only about a year after leaving the CDC.

With liability removed from vaccine manufacturers and vaccine manufacturers heavily influencing the CDC’s recommendation process, the number of vaccine doses recommended by the CDC is steadily rising. According to information provided by the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), in 1983 the CDC recommended that children receive 23 doses of 7 vaccines but, by 2017, the number of vaccines it was recommending rose to 69 doses of 16 vaccines starting on the day of birth to age 18, with 50 doses of 14 vaccines given before age 6. [2] Furthermore, the CDC now recommends an adult vaccine schedule, with an increasing number of doses being added to the schedule. [3]

With a strong conflict of interest influencing the federal government’s vaccine recommendations, it is critical that states have the power to reject federal vaccine mandates.

Contrary to the widely held view, there are many reasons to question vaccine safety. Although the ingredients in each type of vaccine differ, generally, vaccines contain a myriad of toxic substances. These can include, among others, ethyl mercury (found in vaccines in the form of the preservative thimerosal), aluminum, formaldehyde, and Polysorbate 80. According to the article “Mercury is Not Safe in Any Form: Debunking the Myths About Thimerosal ‘Safety’” by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., no amount of mercury is safe for humans and, although thimerosal has been removed from most childhood vaccines, or thimerosal-free versions of the vaccines exist, thimerosal remains in approximately one third to one half of the influenza vaccine doses administered to pregnant women and infants. [4] Mr. Kennedy is Chairman of Children’s Health Defense and its website contains information concerning the potential dangers of vaccines, with sections of the website specifically devoted to federal government failures in the area of vaccine safety (entitled “Federal Failures” and “Government Corruption”). [5]

Additionally, several recent works set forth scientific information which calls into question vaccine safety. For example, over 400 peer-reviewed scientific studies raising concerns about vaccine safety and efficacy are discussed in the book Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Summarized for Parents and Researchers by Neil Z. Miller. [6] In another example, Dr. Richard Moskowitz, a family physician with over fifty years of experience, discusses an extensive body of research indicating potential harm caused by vaccines in his recent book Vaccines – A Reappraisal. [7] In the book, Dr. Moskowitz also discusses surprising facts concerning vaccine safety testing, including that vaccines are generally tested without a control group of untreated (unvaccinated) individuals for comparison and that monitoring for adverse reactions generally occurs for a very short period of time, often of fourteen days or less. [8] J.B. Handley’s book How to End the Autism Epidemic also contains a wealth of scientific information concerning potential harm caused by vaccines, particularly focusing on aluminum, an adjuvant contained in many vaccines, and on evidence of a causal link between vaccines and autism. [9]

There is no consensus in the scientific community about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines or the necessity for them. Accordingly, states must resist federal vaccine mandates. 

As we have seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states enact contradictory policies. If multiple states ban mandatory vaccinations or pass laws which conflict with the CDC’s recommended schedules, it will become extremely difficult for the federal government to enforce any kind of future federal mandate. Such state laws will also undermine the federal narrative and make it harder for the feds to generate support for nationwide mandatory vaccine policies.

By passing SB 2255, Mississippi has the opportunity to lead on this important issue and to become the potential standard bearer for resisting federal vaccine policy at the state level.


SB2255 was referred to the Senate Education Committee where it must pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.


[1] National Vaccine Information Center. “New Human Fetal Cell Lines Available for Vaccine Production.”  www.nvic.org. Web. Accessed 2018.  Accessed 2019. https://www.nvic.org/nvic-vaccine-news/january-2018/new-human-fetal-cell-lines-for-vaccine-production.aspx

[2] National Vaccine Information Center. “A Guide to Reforming Vaccine Policy and Law.” www.nvic.org. Web. Accessed 2018. https://www.nvic.org/CMSTemplates/NVIC/pdf/NVIC_Vaccine_Law_Reform_Guide.pdf

[3] https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/adult-compliant.html

[4] Kennedy, Robert, F. Jr. “Mercury is Not Safe in Any Form: Debunking the Myths About Thimerosal ‘Safety.’” www.ChildrensHealthDefense.org. Web. Accessed 2018. https://childrenshealthdefense.org/known-culprits/mercury/thimerosal-history/mercury-is-not-safe-in-any-form-debunking-the-myths-about-thimerosal-safety

[5] www.ChildrensHealthDefense.org

[6] Miller, Neil Z., Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Summarized for Parents and Researchers, Santa Fe, New Mexico: New Altantean Press, 2016. Print.

[7] Moskowitz, Richard, Vaccines – A Reappraisal. New York, New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2017. Print.

[8] Moskowitz, Richard, Vaccines – A Reappraisal. New York, New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2017. 29-41. Print.

[9] Handley, J.B., How to End the Autism Epidemic. White River Junction, Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2018. Print.