You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal. What's more, that legislative goal, along with one other, received the most No. 1 (highest priority) votes.
"The drug issue is a non-issue because no chiropractic organization in the Summit promotes the inclusion of prescription drug rights and all chiropractic organizations in the Summit support the drug-free approach to health care."
Are You Prepared to Vaccinate?
Did no one in Colorado get the memo? Based on the feedback I've received from previous columns, not many doctors of chiropractic support prescriptive injectables2 and precious few would be willing to give immunizations to infants.3 As you consider whether you would be willing to immunize, remember that the following vaccinations are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the first two years of an infant's life:4
- Hepatitis B vaccine (HepB); minimum age: birth
- Rotavirus vaccine (RV); minimum age: 6 weeks
- Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP); minimum age: 6 weeks
- Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (Hib); minimum age: 6 weeks
- Pneumococcal vaccine; minimum age: 6 weeks for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine [PCV], 2 years for pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine [PPSV]
- Inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV); minimum age: 6 weeks
- Influenza vaccine (seasonal); minimum age: 6 months for trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine [TIV], 2 years for live, attenuated influenza vaccine [LAIV]
- Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR); minimum age: 12 months
- Varicella vaccine; minimum age: 12 months
- Hepatitis A vaccine (HepA); minimum age: 12 months
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine, quadrivalent (MCV4); minimum age: 2 years
So, why would the Colorado Chiropractic Association adopt immunization authority as its No. 2 legislative goal? After many years of opposing what I call the "pro-drug fringe" (PDF) from converting chiropractic into osteopathy, there is little doubt in my mind about the major reason.
Obtaining Colorado immunization authority would be a huge "stepping stone" for the PDF to be able to testify before the Colorado legislature that because DCs already provide vaccinations, there should not be any issue about being able to prescribe and inject all other types of drugs. In my opinion, providing risky immunizations to Colorado babies for the purpose of accomplishing a pro-drug agenda is much like a betrayal of those infants for "30 pieces of silver."
I strongly suspect cooler heads in Colorado have now prevailed and the CCA has abandoned its ridiculous and foolhardy No. 2 legislative goal. And if that is true, it is wonderful – for the time being. But the CCA's legislative goal for immunization authority should give us all pause because it is truly an "early warning sign" for what the PDF is willing to do to convert the chiropractic profession into its own osteopathic image. In that regard, I would not be at all surprised if Oklahoma and New Mexico will be the next states where this is considered.
Make Your Voice Heard
If you believe drugs / immunizations are the right course for chiropractic, then you should join the cause and make your pro-drug stance known to your national and state association representatives. However, if you don't believe drugs / immunizations are the right path for the chiropractic profession, I encourage you to closely monitor the legislative goals of your state association, and inform your state association leadership that you do not approve in order to keep this issue from "rearing its ugly head" in your state. I also strongly encourage you to closely evaluate which of the two national chiropractic associations is currently upholding its drug-free policies and positions by its actions.
- Edwards J. "The Drug Issue: Dead and Buried." Dynamic Chiropractic, Jan. 15, 2014.
- Edwards J. "Drugs and Chiropractic: Exposing the Red Herring and the Trojan Horse." Dynamic Chiropractic, Sept. 23, 2011.
- Edwards J. "Primary Care: Be Careful What You Wish For." Dynamic Chiropractic, April 9, 2012.
- "Recommended Immunization Schedules for Persons 0 Through 18 – United States, 2011." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR, Feb. 11, 2011;60(5);1-4.
Editor's Note: We contacted the Colorado Chiropractic Association to verify whether its No. 2 legislative goal was still in place, but received no response as of press time.
Click here for previous articles by James Edwards, DC.