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30 States Move to Enact Vaccine Bills Including Tracking and Mandatory Vaccines

Published: February 12, 2017
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Source: Health Impact News – by National Vaccine Information Center

30 STATES WITH VACCINE BILLS NEEDING YOUR ACTION – FEBRUARY 7, 2017

Dear NVIC Advocacy Team Members,  

We have only finished the first full month of the 2017 legislative session, and already we are tracking 103 vaccine related bills across 30 states on the NVIC Advocacy Portal. To put the sheer volume of bills in perspective, we tracked a total of 106 bills in the entire legislative session last year. If you live in one of the following states, there are already vaccine bills filed that can affect your rights (states listed in red are new since our last update): AR, AZ, CT, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, ME, MN, MO, MS, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, TX, VA, and WA.

The following states are priority opposition alert state as they now have bills to restrict or eliminate vaccine exemptions: AR (withdrawn), CT, IA, MN, NY, OK, PA, and TX.

The following states are priority support alert states as they now have bills to add or expand vaccine exemptions: HI, IA, MS (died), NJ, NY, OK, RI, and TX.

If you are in any of the following states, beware that there are bills filed to expand vaccine tracking or eliminate OPT-IN Consent for vaccine tracking and that these need to be opposed: CT, ID, KS, MA, MT, NY, and TX.

RECENT WINS IN VA CAN HELP AZ, IN, KS, KY, ME, NY, OK, OR and TX DEFEAT BAD BILLS

Congratulations to the families in Virginia for recently stopping 3 bad bills! Virginia NVIC State Director Kathi Williams expresses her gratitude for everyone who came together to educate legislators.

Both HB 1533 and SB 1519 would have mandated meningitis vaccines. Fortunately an education of legislators by NVIC and Virginia families from around the state helped contribute to failure of the meningitis vaccine mandate bills to move forward. Currently, the following states have bad bills to mandate meningitis vaccines: IN, KS, KY, ME, and OR. Two things that may help residents of those states to fight these meningitis vaccine mandate bills are 1) NVIC Handout on Meningococcal Disease and the Vaccine 2) The NVIC Advocacy Team Action Alert against (Found on http://NVICAdvocacy.org on the Virginia State Team Page under Expired Alerts).

The other bad bill defeated in Virginia, SB 1028, would have required vaccine exemption rates to be posted publically by each school. NVIC issued an emergency email action alert. This bill was so offensive to NVIC President and Co-Founder Barbara Loe Fisher that she talked to the bill author herself, and the bill author withdrew the bill voluntarily.

We opposed this bill and others like it that have come before it because they have nothing to do with health. These bills are part of a documented political strategy used by forced vaccination supporters to instigate a hostile community environment against those using exemptions to lead to the removal of vaccine exemptions.

From Milbank Quarterly “Power and persuasion in the vaccine debates: an analysis of political efforts and outcomes in the United States, 1998-2012”, September 9, 2014.

“Immunization supporters thus could do more to highlight the sympathetic figures on their side, such as immune-compromised children who rely on herd immunity, or unvaccinated people who contracted vaccine-preventable diseases and regret not being vaccinated…”

For example, a bill could require that schools and day care centers publicly post or distribute to parents the percentage of students with vaccine exemptions or the percentage of staff who have received a flu shot or whooping cough booster, as news coverage of disease outbreaks has raised public awareness about the unvaccinated. Although these numbers already have been collected, their public release would generate the news coverage and scrutiny that have proved helpful in the West Coast’s legislative changes.

Families in the states of AZ, NY, and OK need to work hard to defeat the following bills which authorize the public release of vaccine exemption rates or numbers by individual schools:

AZ: SB 1509, NY: S2955 and A3912, OK: SB177. Families in Texas need to be on the lookout for a similar bill to be filed as referenced in recent vaccine proponent newsletters.

Even though bills like these do not authorize the public release of individually identifiable information, the numbers of children utilizing exemptions in many schools are so small that this group of bills puts the exposure of their identity at risk. This would be considered a FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) violation.

From the US Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center’s FAQ on Disclosure Avoidance:

“Some risk of disclosure does remain, however, in circumstances where one or more students possess a unique or uncommon characteristic (or a combination of characteristics) that would allow them to be identified in the data table (this commonly occurs with small ethnic subgroup populations), or where some easily observable characteristic corresponds to an unrelated category in the data table…

…Under FERPA, educational agencies and institutions reporting or releasing data derived from education records are responsible for protecting PII (personally identifiable information) in the reports from disclosure. The U.S. Department of Education also states, in reporting achievement results under section 1111(h) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), to “not use disaggregated data for one or more subgroups… to report achievement results… if the results would reveal personally identifiable information about an individual student”

Vaccination status and school vaccine exemptions are part of a child’s CONFIDENTIAL medical record and PRIVATE SCHOOL information. Bills like these, as shown by the use of this data in California, lead to the elimination of the personal belief exemption.

and direct the focus of parents on those with vaccine exemptions and instigates witch hunts into the identity of the small number of students with exemptions. Children and families utilizing vaccine exemptions that have had their vaccine exemption status revealed have experienced bullying, harassment and threats in this environment.

NVIC has consistently opposed public release of school exemption numbers since these types of bills first appeared in CO and VT in 2014. We opposed and helped defeat OR SB 895A and TX HB 2474 in 2015. We opposed AZ HB 2527 and MI SB 259 and MI SB 260 in 2016 and fortunately these bills were defeated as well. We will continue to ask our members to oppose these types of bills.

BILLS THAT NEED YOUR ACTION IN 30 STATES

There are literally over 100 bills filed that need your support or opposition! PLEASE LOG IN TO http://NVICAdvocacy.org for more detailed information including links to the bills themselves and direct links to your State representatives. Please understand that we are analyzing bills and updating the NVIC Advocacy Portal multiple times a day and this information changes daily so log in often. Use this resource to find out what is going on in your state and what you can do to help.

Here is a breakdown of the types of bills filed that we are tracking as of 2/7/17. Please note NVIC is opposed to the types of bills highlighted in RED text and we support the types of bills in GREEN text.

EXEMPTIONS AND INFORMED CONSENT

  • Restricting Vaccine Exemptions – CT, IA, MN, NY, OK, TX
  • Eliminating Vaccine Exemptions – AR, NY, OK, PA
  • Required School Exemption Disclosure – AZ, NY, OK, VA
  • Expand Vaccine Exemptions – HI, IA, ID, MS, NJ, NY, OK, RI, TN, TX
  • Protecting Vaccine Delay and Refusal from Child Abuse Claims – OR
  • Add to Who Can Sign Medical Exemptions – TX
  • Prohibit Docs from Throwing Exempting Patients out – TX
  • Forced Detention and Treatment on Suspicion of Vaccine Preventable Disease – NY
  • Expand Vaccine Informed Consent – OR, TX
  • Granting Minor Children Consent Authority for Certain Vaccines Without Parents – NY, TX
  • Granting School Nurses Vaccine Consent Authority for Homeless Children – WA

MANDATES

  • Adds New Vaccine Mandates – CT, IL, IN, KS, KY, ME, MO, MT, NJ, NY, OR, VA
  • Restricting Vaccine Mandates – MS, NH, NJ
  • Prevents Vaccine Mandates for Adults – MS
  • Requires Children of Foster Parents to be Vaccinated with no exemptions – AZ

VACCINE TRACKING AND REPORTING

  • Eliminates OPT-IN Consent for Vaccine Tracking – MT, TX
  • Expands Vaccine Tracking – CT, ID, KS, MA, MT, NY, TX
  • Alters Vaccine Board Positions – ME
  • Requires Public Schools to Conduct Health Visits to Private School Students – IA

VACCINES

  • Prohibits Certain Ingredients in Vaccines – MO
  • Requires Vaccine Promotion/Marketing – GA, IL, NE, TN, TX
  • Permits Pharmacists Administer More Vaccines – HI, IN, KS, KY, MT, NY, SD

INDIVIDUAL BILLS WE ARE TRACKING AS OF 2/7/17 (NOTE: you must be registered and logged in to see the specific information about the bills in your state with direct links to your State representatives.

STATE – BILL – POSITION – STATUS

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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