State Vaccination Exemptions

STATUS OF VACCINE RELATED LEGISLATION IN THE UNITED STATES

by National Vaccine Information Center

FEBRUARY 14, 2019

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS

As of Thursday, February 14, 2019, NVIC is tracking on the NVIC Advocacy Portal 113 vaccine related bills across 27 States.

Currently, the following states have bills you need to know about: Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Nevada, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Breaking these 113 bills down by our NVIC position registered on the NVIC Advocacy Portal, we support on 48, oppose 60, and we are watching to see what happens with 5.

We are just a little over a month into most legislative sessions, so we are expecting more bills affecting even more states to still be filed.

This snapshot does not include all bills we track on the NVIC Advocacy Portal

Login to the NVIC Advocacy Portal OFTEN to check for more detailed information and updates.  

We review bills and make updates daily. Bills can change many times over the legislative process and your timely visits, calls, and emails directed at the correct legislators are critical to this process.

Please check your state page on the NVIC Advocacy portal for bill descriptions including our position on the bill, links to the bill information in your state legislature, where the bill is in the legislative process, and most importantly, what the recommended action you can take to help pass the good bills and defeat the bad ones.

BILLS AFFECTING VACCINE EXEMPTIONS

There are currently 11 bills filed in 8 states which are adding or expanding vaccine exemptions that deserve your support.

Arizona HB 2470 and SB 1114 add a religious exemption for kindergarten through 12th grade students.

Hawaii HB 1182 adds a conscientious belief exemption for children.

Iowa SF 239 adds a conscientious belief exemption.

Mississippi SB 2255 adds philosophical and religious belief exemptions for school, and SB 2398 adds religious belief exemption.  HB 479 allows adults to deny vaccines including for employment and adds a philosophical exemption for first responders.

Montana SB 99 expands the existing exemptions by allowing for a personally written exemption where someone wouldn’t need to use the state form.

New York S 477 strengthens and expands the medical exemption.

Rhode Island H 5165 adds personal and philosophical exemptions for all school and college students.

West Virginia SB 454 adds religious and conscientious exemptions for students and employees.

There are currently 18 bills filed in 10 states which are removing or restricting vaccine exemptions that need your opposition. There are 3 states under a verified threat of a bill to remove exemptions.

Arizona HB 2162 eliminates the personal and philosophical exemption for children and HB 2505 also removes the personal and philosophical exemption but replaces them with a religious exemption.

Colorado has not yet filed a bill to remove exemptions, but there has been verified discussion of one being considered.  For details, see the Colorado State Page Announcements on http://NVICAdvocacy.org.

Connecticut HB 7005 removes school nurses from list of people who can acknowledge religious exemption making it harder for a parent to submit their exemption, and HB 5277makes changes to the qualifications for a temporary waiver and is vulnerable to more restrictive or eliminating amendments. Both bills filed restrict exemptions and could lead to amendments of further restrictions or removal of the religious exemption.

Iowa HF 206 eliminates the religious belief exemption.

Maine LD 798 removes both religious and philosophical exemptions for students and staff working in nursery schools, and consequently for health care workers since the bill also calls for the elimination of exemptions for anyone granted them by rule.

New Jersey A 3818 was amended on the floor of the Assembly to remove the religious exemption, and S 2173 severely restricts the religious exemption.

New York A 2371 and S 2994 eliminate the religious exemption, and A 1135 and S 2289restrict the religious exemption by requiring a health care provider signature. S 3424A creates a uniform religious exemption form but subjects it to an arbitrary superintendent approval process.

Oregon HB 2783 requires health care provider signatures on all exemptions, and there has been verified discussion of a bill to remove the philosophical exemption being ordered.   For details, see the Oregon State Page Announcements on http://NVICAdvocacy.org.

Nevada AB 123 forces parents to consent to sharing of medical and religious exemptions to public health.

Vermont H 238 eliminates religious exemption for required vaccines.

Washington SB 5841 eliminates the personal and philosophical exemption and HB 1638eliminates personal and philosophical exemptions for the MMR vaccine.

Wisconsin has not yet filed a bill to remove exemptions, but there has been verified discussion of one being considered.  For details, see the Wisconsin State Page Announcements on http://NVICAdvocacy.org.

UPCOMING VERIFIED SCHEDULED HEARINGS (CONTACT COMMITTEE MEMBERS)

Arizona SB 1114, SUPPORT, Adds a religious belief exemption to vaccination for pupils through 12th grade. Scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Education Committee on 2/19/19.

Connecticut HB 7101, OPPOSE, Requires hospitals to offer flu vaccines to patients 65 and older before discharge. Scheduled for a hearing on 2/19/19 in the Joint Committee on Aging.

Florida SB 354, OPPOSE, Mandatory reporting and tracking of vaccines by health care practitioners in registry. SB 354 is scheduled for a hearing in Senate Health Policy Committee on 2/19/19.

Maryland SB 783, SUPPORT, Requires informed consent be given before administration of HPV Vaccine.  Scheduled for a hearing on 2/26/2019.

Oregon SB 649, SUPPORT, Requires information packets be given by health care providers before vaccination. Scheduled for a public hearing on 2/18/2019.

Washington SB 5841, OPPOSE, Eliminates personal and philosophical exemptions to all mandated vaccines. Scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee on 2/20/2019.

OTHER BILLS NEEDING YOUR SUPPORT IN THE FOLLOWING STATES

Improving Vaccine Informed Consent: Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Mississippi, Montana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

Removing The Ability to Mandate by Health Department Rule: Hawaii, Oklahoma

Prohibit Vaccine Mandates for Certain Employees: Minnesota, Oregon

Add Positive Serological Testing in Lieu of Vaccination Requirements: Arizona, Oklahoma, and Washington

OTHER BILLS NEEDING OPPOSITION IN THE FOLLOWING STATES

Expanding Vaccine Tracking Registries: Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland and Texas.

Vaccine Mandates:

HPV: Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York
Meningitis: New Jersey
Flu: New York for school and day care
ACIP Recommendations to Mandates: Kentucky for college
Occupational Mandates: New Jersey
Workers in Children’s Camps: New York

School Disclosure of Exemption Rates (leads to shaming and discrimination): Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas.

Minor Children Consenting to Vaccines: New York for Hepatitis B and HPV.

Pharmacists and/or Optometrists Giving Vaccines: Montana, Oregon, and Wyoming.

COMMINICATING WITH LEGISLATORS

It is important that you make your position to bills that affect your rights known to your legislators.

Everyone should be visiting or calling their own State Representative and State Senator and asking them to OPPOSE any restriction or removal of personal, religious or medical exemptions to vaccine mandates.

Personal visits and phone calls are the most effective. You should follow up with an email note for legislators looking to read your information, but in no way should the only communication with your legislators be an email as these can be easily ignored or deleted.

If you do not know who your State Representative or State Senator 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 http://NVICAdvocacy.org.  This is why we ask for your address when you register so we can connect you to your legislators.

When communicating with your legislators, be polite but be direct. It is important to voice your position on a bill and BRIEFLY share your vaccine reaction, harassment, or vaccine failure story in addition to the pros or cons on all bills you are highlighting.

Those seeking to restrict or remove exemptions have tried to create an environment dismissive of the experiences people have with real vaccine reactions. The VAXXED Website, http://vaxxed.com has thousands of video clips of people sharing their vaccine reactions.

They also have a state map where you can click on your state and view testimonials in your state! These testimonials can be shared on social media and to legislators and staff directly.

Please refer to NVIC’s “Reforming Vaccine Policy and Law” guide for answers to questions your legislators may have.  The fully referenced version can be found at: http://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/state-vaccine-requirements/Reforming-Vaccine-Policy—Law-Guide.aspx.

Sincerely,

NVIC Advocacy Team
National Vaccine Information Center
http://NVIC.org and http://NVICAdvocacy.org
https://nvicadvocacy.org/members/Members/ContactUs.aspx

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 http://NVICAdvocacy.org, a website dedicated to this sole purpose and provided as a free public service by NVIC. 

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