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The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) just released critically important information on Florida bill SB 646, which aggressively undermines health freedom by greatly restricting medical and religious vaccine exemptions, as well as expanding forced government tracking of private citizen's confidential vaccination records.
Please share this news release with others and act now to send a clear message that we will not support unconstitutional restrictions against our health freedom.
It will only take a few minutes of your time to make a call to express your opposition, and each such effort could make a world of difference!
Join the Facebook group, formerly "Floridians Opposed to SB 646," now Floridians for Health Freedom, to organize with other activists.
Latest Update (11/05/15) : The Bill Has Been WITHDRAWN by Senator Alan Hays!
Effective Date: 7/1/2016
Last Action: 11/6/2015 Senate - Withdrawn prior to introduction
Location: Withdrawn from considerationhttps://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2016/0646
NVIC Press Release (Updated: 11/05/15) Dear Florida NVIC Advocacy Team Members,
This terrible bill has just been filed and it significantly restricts medical and religious vaccine exemptions, it expands and forces participation in a vaccine tracking system, and it requires public posting of vaccination exemption rates for individual schools. It is a major attack on families who don't agree with all doses of all required vaccines. SB 646 needs to be strongly opposed.
The Florida legislature is in attendance in a special session on redistricting until this Friday November 6th so there is a small window of opportunity where legislators are in their offices for you to show strong opposition to this bill to prevent the bill from getting co-sponsors and eventual committee hearings once session starts on January 12th. This bill needs to be killed and we need to come out strong with everyone in Florida contacting their legislators IMMEDIATELY to tell them to oppose SB 646 and do NOT become a co-sponsor.
LEGISLATIVE EDUCATION ACTION NEEDED NOW:
1) CALL, EMAIL, and FAX your Florida State Senator and Representative and ask them to OPPOSE SB 646. Tell them DO NOT become a co-sponsor (see talking points below). If you do not know who your Florida State Senator and Representative are or their contact information, you can login to the NVIC Advocacy Portal, click on the "State Teams" tab and then "My State," and your elected officials are automatically posted on the right hand side of the page https://NVICAdvocacy.org.
You can also use this search engines below tofind your Florida legislators.
2) Contact Governor Rick Scott and ask him to OPPOSE SB 646. Tell him you need his support to maintaining religious belief and medical exemptions to mandatory vaccinations as they are and to oppose any effort, like SB 646 to restrict these exemptions. https://www.flgov.com/contact-
governor/, email Governor Scott, call (850) 717-9337.
3) Contact Senator Alan Hays, primary author of SB 646 by email, phone, fax, or Facebook athttps://www.flsenate.gov/
senators/s11 and ask him to withdraw SB 646! You can refer to the talking points below.
4) Login to the NVIC Advocacy Portal often to check for updates. https://NVICAdvocacy.
org. Bills can change many times over the legislative process. Please forward this email to family and friends and ask them to register for the NVIC Advocacy Portal and share their concerns with their legislators as well.
[Include your return address so they can see you are in their district, and start by introducing yourself and identifying yourself as a constituent]
I urge you to OPPOSE SB 646 which significantly restricts religious belief and medical exemptions to vaccine requirements and expands forced government tracking of private citizens' confidential medical vaccination records. It is very important to my family that you do NOT co-sponsor this bill.
[Explain PERSONALLY why it is important to your family to be able to delay or decline vaccination using the religious belief or medical exemption. Incorporate any stories of vaccine reactions, harassment, or vaccine failure to personalize your communication.]
SB 646, https://www.flsenate.gov/
Session/Bill/2016/0646/ BillText/Filed/PDF, should be opposed because it:
Adds new forced vaccine tracking requirements for all children including those with vaccine exemptions:
Page 2, lines 48-53: Before the 2017-2018 school year, each child must have a vaccine record on file of their vaccination status for all required vaccines with the State Health Online Tracking System, or Florida SHOTS. The Department of Health has free reign in their rules how to implement this should it pass.
Page 3, lines 65-66: SB 646 requires the Religious Exemption to be recorded in the vaccine tracking system SHOTS by Department of Health personnel.
Nobody should be forced to have their private confidential medical vaccination records or exemptions tracked by their government. This should be an OPT-IN system for those families wanting this service. Families who are capable of keeping track of their own children's records with their doctor or who claim a vaccine exemption should NOT be forced to be in a centralized government surveillance and enforcement database.
Forces new restrictions on the religious exemption:
Page 2, line 58 – Page 3 line 66: Before receiving a religious exemption, SB 646 adds the additional requirement that the parent or guardian must review a video provided by the Department of Health on vaccines and diseases. The video will be made by the Department of Health in collaboration with the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Neither of these organizations are religious organizations nor do they adequately acknowledge legitimate vaccine risks and contraindications. Their forced insertion into personal religious decisions would be an inappropriate action of the Florida legislature. This is not about vaccine education, it is about harassment, discrimination and hurdles placed in front of someone with different religious beliefs not agreeable to those who push forced vaccination. The AAP has a policy statement against religious and other non-medical exemptions, and pediatricians profit from giving vaccines so this creates a complete conflict of interest.
Page 5, lines120-123. Religious exemptions are further restricted by creating the new requirement that they expire after only two years.
This is harassment and unnecessary. People don't change their religious beliefs every two years and vaccines are always available to those who want them.
Restricts the medical exemption:
Page 3, lines 69-80: Restricts the permanent medical exemption to: "A child who has been diagnosed with T cell or combined T and B cell immunodeficiency, has been diagnosed with any other immunodeficiency for which live virus vaccines are contraindicated, or is undergoing a solid organ or bone marrow transplant and should be permanently exempt from the required immunization" or a reason determined by The Department of Health.
Current law allows a physician to write a permanent medical exemption. Instead of allowing a physician to decide what is best for his/her patient, the bill author is attempting to limit medical exemptions to this narrow window along with arbitrary determinations by the Department of Health. There are many valid reasons why an individual patient is medically contraindicated to receive one or more vaccines that will fall outside of these limited reasons. The legislature should not stand between the patient and their personal doctor to decide what is best for the patient – one size does NOT fit all.
Page 2, line 87 – Page 3, line 92: Before receiving any medical exemption, SB 646 adds the additional requirement that the parent or guardian must review a video while in the physician's office provided by the Department of Health on vaccines and diseases.
If a doctor and their patient have determined a person should be medically exempt from vaccination, having to watch a video made with the input of a trade association whose members profit from and support forced vaccination is nothing but harassment and discrimination.
Page 5, lines120-123: All medical exemptions are further restricted by creating the new requirement that they expire after only two years.
This is bureaucratic harassment wasting parents' time and money. The doctor and the child's parents should be the only ones deciding how long the medical exemption applies, not the legislature.
Requires the exemption rates of all individual schools to be disclosed online
Page 5, lines 124-130: Requires the Health Department and all public and private schools to post the school's vaccine exemption rates on their websites.
This is not about health. It is a documented political strategy to instigate a HOSTILE community environment against those using vaccine exemptions. SB 656 provides useless information in schools because overall vaccine exemption numbers don't tell what type of vaccine the exemption is for. An exemption form is used whether it is for one dose of one shot or all doses. This bill perpetuates the myth that high vaccination rates guarantee immunity. Vaccines fail and wane, and people vaccinated with live viral vaccines shed the virus and can spread disease. This bill gives parents of immune compromised kids the false sense of security that a school with high vaccination rates and low exemption rates is a safe environment for their kids. This is not only FALSE, it is dangerous.
Dawn Richardson, Director of Advocacy
National Vaccine Information Center
https://NVIC.org and https://NVICAdvocacy.org
The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) works diligently to prepare and disseminate our legislative advocacy action alerts and supporting materials. We request that organizations and members of the public forward our alerts in their original form to assure consistent and accurate messaging and effective action. Please acknowledge NVIC as originators of this work when forwarding to members of the public and like-minded organizations. To receive alerts immediately, register at https://NVICAdvocacy.org, a website dedicated to this sole purpose and provided as a free public service by NVIC.
Join the Facebook group, Floridians Opposed to SB 646 to join forces with other activists!