Emergency Call to Action
Protect Vaccine Exemptions in Florida
Floridians Opposed To SB 646
Update 11/7/15 – The SB 646 Bill was withdrawn prior to introduction.
Good Work Everyone !! Your Voices Were Heard !
Remain vigilant because this issue will resurface, like a Hydra with many heads. Cut one off, and another appears.
The SB 646 Bill will be discussed in these three Florida Senate committees:
Contact the members of each committee with these links and send them your letter opposing SB 646.
SB 646, along with those to contact:
1) Health Policy Committee: https://www.flsenate.gov/Committees/Show/HP
2) Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services https://www.flsenate.gov/Committees/Show/AHS
3) Committee on Appropriations https://www.flsenate.gov/Committees/Show/
If you haven’t contacted your state legislators or the governor yet to OPPOSE SB646, PLEASE DO SO immediately as special session is ending on Friday 11/6! After this, communications will have to be with the district offices.
Read the Entire Bill Here: Florida Senate SB 646 Alan Hays Vaccine Exemptions
SB 646 Sponsor, Senator Hays
Additionally, contact SB 646 Sponsor, Senator Alan Hays, and ask him to withdraw his bill – his contact information is added below.
Alan Hays Florida Senate Web Site.
Left image: Florida Senator Alan Hays 11th District courtesy of wikipedia.
Contact information for D Alan Hays
871 South Central Avenue
Umatilla, FL 32784-9290
Phone: (352) 742-6441
Fax: (352) 360-6748
320 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
Phone: (850) 487-5011
Nanci Cornwell (Umatilla), Renee Hodges (Clermont)
This Bill Needs to be KILLED !! Urgent !!
We are requesting you communicate with your state legislators as soon as possible to OPPOSE SB 646 sponsored by Senator D Alan Hays (R) District 11.
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. Ask them to NOT become a co-sponsor.
If you do not know who your Florida State Senator and Representative are or their contact information, you can find them here at these links
To find your Florida State Senator Click Here.
To find your Florida State Representative Click Here.
Contact the Governor
Contact Governor Rick Scott and ask him to OPPOSE SB 646. Ask for his support to maintain religious and medical exemptions for vaccinations unchanged. And oppose SB 646 which seeks to restrict these exemptions.
You can send email Gov Rick Scott at this LINK.
Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
3) Contact Senator Alan Hays, primary author of SB 646 by email, phone, fax, or Facebook at https://www.flsenate.gov/senators/s11 and ask him to withdraw SB 646! His email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Template for Letter : This is a template for your letter or email to your congressman”[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 restricts religious exemptions and medical exemptions for vaccination. This is a bad bill. The bill would mandate government tracking of vaccination records, which are currently confidential medical records protected under the federal HIPPA laws. Please do not support or co-sponsor this bill.[Explain PERSONALLY why it is important to you and your family to have a religious belief or medical vaccine exemption. Add in any relevant personal stories]
I am asking you to oppose this bill, SB 646, because of the following reasons:
1) The bill mandates a new state database system for tracking vaccination records for all children, including exemption status.
See Page 2, lines 48-53:
Before the 2017-2018 school year, each child must have a vaccine record on file with vaccination status for required vaccination schedule with the State Health Online Tracking System, or Florida (SHOTS). The Department of Health is to implement this database system.
See page 3, lines 65-66: SB 646 requires Religious Exemption to be recorded in the vaccine tracking system (SHOTS) by Department of Health.
I ask that you oppose this bill because no citizen’s vaccination records or vaccine exemptions should be tracked by their state government. Currently, families and their physicians maintain thejr own vaccination records privately. These medical records are confidential under federal HIPPA regulations. This should not be changed.
2) Bill SB 646 Forces new restrictions on the religious exemption:
Page 2, line 58 – Page 3 line 66: WATCH A VIDEO
Before receiving a religious exemption, SB 646 adds the additional requirement that the parent or guardian must watch a video on vaccination provided by the Department of Health. This proposed video will be made by the Department of Health in collaboration with the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. This is an unusual and unnecessary encroachment of our rights to exercise religious freedom. The video must be made optional, not mandatory.
Government Replaces Physician in the Practice of Medicine
The Bill SB646 replaces the physician’s judgement with a set of rules made by the state legislature, attempting to replace the physician in the practice of medicine.
The new law SB646 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 personal physician to write a permanent medical exemption:
Instead of the physician making the decision about what criteria to use for a medical exemption, this bill SB646 will limit severely the criteria for medical exemption to a narrow list. This is very wrong. Many valid medical criteria for vaccine exemption are not listed in Bill SB646. It is simply wrong to think that all the criteria can be listed, as each case is individual. The state legislature should not attempt to practice medicine, nor try to replacement the physician’s judgment with a set of rules in Bill SB 545.
The new law SB646 requires the exemption rates for schools 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 an undue waste of school time and resources, and a waste of taxpayers money. Vaccination exemption records are confidential medical information protected by federal HIPPA regulations and therefore not to be publicly disclosed.
(Your name, address, phone number, email etc.)
Links and References
Link to Florida Senate Bill SB 646: Childhood Immunizations – GENERAL BILL by Alan Hays
Childhood Immunizations; Requiring certain immunization records to be on file with the State Health Online Tracking System by a specified date; revising exemptions to the school-entry health examination and immunization requirements; requiring the Department of Health, in collaboration with the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, to prepare an informational video on immunizations for a parent or guardian to view before requesting an exemption; requiring the department to publish immunization and exemption rates for each public and private school on its website by a specified date, etc.
Effective Date: 7/1/2016
Last Action: 11/4/2015 Senate – Referred to Health Policy; Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services; Appropriations
Location: In committee/council (HP)
Artcles with related interest:
Jeffrey Dach MD
7450 Griffin Road
Davie, Florida 33314
Links and references
1) The Vaccine Culture War in America: Are You Ready? by Barbara Loe Fisher, Co-Founder NVIC
Jeffrey Dach MD
7450 Griffin Road
Davie, Florida 33314