There is a new dangerous threat to vaccine exemptions in Florida. SB 64 was filed by Senator Lauren Book on 8/2/2019. SB 64 would eliminate the religious exemption to vaccines required for public and private school children. It would also add a new section of law requiring the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine to jointly create a medical exemption review panel that shall review all medical exemptions. If passed, the new law would become effective on July 1, 2020. We have seen what happens to families in California and New York where religious exemptions have been removed and medical exemptions are reviewed and restricted. SB 64 is a dangerous bill that needs to be stopped early so Florida doesn’t become like California or New York. The 2020 legislative session in Florida convenes on 1/14/2020, however bills are filed in advance (session dates). It is very important that families who support the religious and medical exemptions get out ahead of Senator Book’s effort and talk to their legislators and like-minded families to get involved now! Those who are currently in office during this interim period will be the same legislators who will vote on this bill this spring as statewide legislative offices are not on the ballot this fall.
Stephen Weiss made a presentation on vaccines to the Virginia General Assembly’s Healthy Living Health Services Subcommittee meeting on Aug. 3, 2016 in Richmond, VA. He showed a series of slides that was meant to educate legislators to enact legislation in 2017 regarding vaccine policy, which could include eliminating the religious vaccine exemption and restrict the medical exemption to narrow federal (CDC) vaccine contraindications. Was the information he presented accurate? Mr. Weiss is employed in government administration as a Senior Health Policy Analyst. His educational background is in government, and he apparently has no education or experience in practicing medicine. Dr. Suzanne Humphries is a medical doctor, board certified in Nephrology and trained in Internal Medicine, holding active unrestricted medical licenses in Maine and Virginia. She also has a degree in physics, and spent two years in a laboratory using techniques identical to those used for vaccine manufacture and testing. Dr. Humphries left a thriving medical practice where she was well-respected by her peers to pursue medical research, particularly research on vaccines. She wrote a book documenting her research on vaccines: Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and The Forgotten History. Dr. Humphries has sent a response to Stephen Weiss' slide presentation given to the Virginia Assembly, highlighting the erroneous information regarding vaccines and public health that was presented to support removing the religious exemption to vaccines in Virginia.
SB 277 - the bill eliminating all nonmedical exemptions for the 10 vaccines currently required before a child can attend public or private school, preschool or daycare - was signed by California Governor Brown on June 30, 2015 and goes into effect on July 1, 2016. However, what everyone in California who is planning on using a personal or religious belief exemption needs to know to take advantage of the grandfathering of these exemptions beyond July 1st and until the next grade span (preschool, kindergarten inclusive and including transitional kindergarten, or 7th grade), you MUST have an exemption on file at your school or day care by December 31, 2015! For those programs with a winter holiday, the deadline may be even sooner with offices closed.