(We did not write this article; the original article is HERE).
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states are priority opposition alert state as they now have bills to restrict or eliminate vaccine exemptions: AR (withdrawn), CT, IA, MN, NY, OK, PA, and TX.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.
“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
- 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
- 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
- AR: HB 1043 – OPPOSE – Withdrawn by the sponsor on 1/11/2017; Eliminates religious and philosophical belief exemptions to vaccination
- AZ: SB 1509 – OPPOSE – Referred to the Senate Committees on Education and Rules on 2/1/2017; Requires public and charter schools to post vaccination rates on their website
- AZ: SB 1268 – OPPOSE – Referred to Senate Committees Rules and HHS; Requires parents to have their natural born children vaccinated in order to be a foster parent
- CT: HB 6971 – OPPOSE – Referred to the Joint Committee on Health 1/26/2017; Requires state mandated education in order to use a religious belief exemption to vaccination
- CT: HB 6700 – OPPOSE – Referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health 1/24/2017; Mandates annual flu vaccines for child care providers
- CT: HB 6485 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 1/23/2017 and referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health; Expand the current vaccine registry/tracking system to include all children up to age 18
- CT: SB 439 – OPPOSE – Introduced and referred to the Joint Committee on Health 1/19/17; Expands the vaccine registry/tracking system to include up to age 18, require reports
- CT: HB 6016 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 1/19/17 and referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health; Provides local health directors with real-time access to the immunization registry/tracking system
- GA: HB 198 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 2/01/2017 and referred to the House Education Committee; Requires school districts to provide information about flu vaccines
- HI: HB 676 – OPPOSE – Referred to House Committee on Rules on 1/25 hearing scheduled for 2/7/2017; Allows pharmacists to administer HPV Vaccine to children
- HI: HB 779 – SUPPORT – Referred to House Committees on Health and Judiciary on 1/25/17; Establishes a philosophical belief exemption to vaccination, allows for in house quarantine
- IA: SF 138 – OPPOSE – Referred to Senate Education Subcommittee 1/27/2017; Requires school districts to conduct health and safety visits for children under private instruction
- IA: HF 7 – SUPPORT – Passed subcommittee, failed to move out of full committee 2/8/2017; Adds a personal conviction exemption to vaccination
- IA: SF 116 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 1/24/17 and referred to the Senate Human Resources Committee; Requires the signature of a religious leader for a religious belief exemption to vaccination
- ID: SB 1050 – SUPPORT – Introduced on 2/7/2017; Clarifies parents can submit their own statement of exemption for religious or other grounds
- ID: HB 91 – OPPOSE – Introduced and referred to the House Health and Welfare Committee 2/2/2017; Expands the Idaho Immunization Information System/vaccine tracking system
- IL: SB 741 – OPPOSE – Introduced and referred to assignments on 1/30/2017; Mandatory flu vaccines for health care personnel
- IL: HB 679 – WATCH – Introduced 1/25/2017 and referred to the rules committee; Requires the health dept. to develop an informational flyer on meningococcal disease
- IN: HB 1069 – OPPOSE – Passed full House on 1/31/2017; Mandates meningitis vaccines for college students
- IN: SB 51 – OPPOSE – Passed full Senate on 1/30/17, to be considered in the House next; Adds new vaccines that pharmacists can administer to children without consent in an emergency
- IN: SB 339 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 1/9/2017 and referred to the Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services; Mandates meningitis vaccine for college students
- IN: SB 133 – OPPOSE – Referred to Committee on Health & Provider Services, first reading on 1/4; Vaccine mandates for hospital workers
- KS: HB 2121 – OPPOSE – Passed the House Committee on Health & Human Services 2/3/17: Requires all vaccines administered to be reported to the vaccine registry/tracking system
- KS: HB 2030 – OPPOSE – Passed the House Committee on Health and Human Services on1/31/17; Allows pharmacists to administer any vaccine to children 6 years or older
- KS: HB 2205 – OPPOSE – Introduced and referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee 1/30/2017; Mandates Meningitis Vaccines
- KY: HB 147 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 1/5/2017; Vaccine mandates for college students
- KY: SB 101 – WATCH – Introduced on 1/5/17, referred to Senate Health & Welfare Committee on 1/7/17; Expands current law allowing pharmacist to administer vaccines to children to include 9 to 17 years
- MA: SD 1509 – OPPOSE – Filed on 1/20/2017; Expands the current vaccine registry/tracking system to include vision screening
- ME: LD 456/HP 323 – WATCH – Introduced and Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development 2/7/2017; Allows pharmacists to administer all ACIP recommended vaccines to children 11 and older
- ME: LD 272/HP 205 – OPPOSE – LD 272 was referred to the House Committee on Health & Human Services on 1/31; Mandates Meningitis Vaccine for 11 to 20 year olds
- ME: LD 161/HP 119 – WATCH – Introduced and referred to the Committee on Health and Human Services 1/19/17; Removes the Secretary of State from the Maine Vaccine Board
- MN: HF 96/SF 143 – OPPOSE – Introduced and referred to House Health & Human Services Reform & Senate Health and Human Services; Changes conscientious belief exemption to personal belief exemption, requires physician statement
- MO: SB 117 – OPPOSE – Hearing held in Senate Health and Pensions Committee on 1/18/17; Mandates flu vaccines for employees and volunteers of health services facilities
- MO: HB 331 – WATCH – Introduced 1/4/2017; Restricts use of vaccines containing metal preservatives
- MO: HB 332 – WATCH – Introduced 1/4/2017; Restricts the use of vaccines containing foreign human DNA
- MS: HB 1456 – SUPPORT – Died in Committee on 1/31/2017; Expands and protects medical exemptions to vaccination in MS
- MS: HB 1439 – SUPPORT – Died in Committee on 1/31/2017; Establishes a conscientious belief exemption to vaccination
- MS: HB 88 – SUPPORT – Died in Committee on 1/31/2017; Establishes the right of adults to determine whether to receive any vaccine, provides protections
- MS: HB 1068 – SUPPORT – Died in Committee on 1/31/2017; Eliminates the requirement that hospitals administer hepatitis b vaccine to newborns
- MS: SB 2636/HB 1457 – SUPPORT – HB 14 57 died in Committee on 1/31/2017; Provides for religious and philosophical belief exemptions to vaccination
- MT: HB 177 – OPPOSE – Transmitted to Senate on 1/26/17; Adds pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to the list of vaccines pharmacists can administer
- MT: HB 293 – OPPOSE – Referred to the House Human Services Committee, hearing scheduled on 2/1/2017; Changes vaccine registry/tracking system from opt-in to opt-out
- NE: LB267 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 1/11/17, Referred to Health and Human Services Committee on 1/13/17; Requires nursing facilities to offer employees and residents flu vaccines unless contraindicated
- NH: HB 362 – SUPPORT – Referred to the House Health, Human Services & Elderly Affairs Committee, Hearing on 1/24/17; Prohibits school vaccine requirements for diseases noncommunicable in schools including hepatitis b
- NH: HB 361 – SUPPORT – Referred to the House Health, Human Services & Elderly Affairs Committee, Hearing on 1/24/17; Removes the authority of the health dept. commissioner to adopt rules on child vaccines
- NJ: A169 – WATCH – Introduced on 1/27/2016 and referred to Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee, not moving; Makes changes to exemptions to vaccination
- NJ: A2647 – OPPOSE – Introduced and sent to the Health and Human Services Committee: Mandates HPV Vaccines for students in grades six through 12
- NJ: A520 – SUPPORT – Introduced 1/27/2016 and referred to Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee; Exempts children under 6 from hepatitis b vaccine requirement if the mother tests negative
- NY: S2955/A3912 – OPPOSE – Introduced and referred to the House and Senate Education Committees; Requires school district reporting of vaccine exemptions by school to Education Department for public
- NY: A2469 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 1/20/2017 and referred to the Assembly Health Committee; Allows health care practitioners to administer HPV/Hep B Vaccines to minors without parental consent
- NY: S3941/A3899 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 1/30/17 and referred to Health Committees; Adds lead blood testing data to the vaccine registry/tracking system
- NY: S3546 – OPPOSE – Introduced and referred to the Senate Health Committee on 1/24/2017; Requires a physician signature for a religious belief exemption to vaccination
- NY: A680 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 1/9/2017 and referred to the Assembly Committee on Health; Detention of individuals and groups posing a public health threat
- NY: S52, A1810 – OPPOSE – Introduced and referred to the Senate and Assembly Health Committee; Eliminates the religious belief exemption to vaccination
- NY: A439 – OPPOSE – Introduced 1/9/2017 and referred to the Assembly Committee on Health; Expands forced detainment and treatment to include vaccine preventable diseases
- NY: A1230 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 1/11/17 and referred to the Assembly Committee on Health; Mandate flu vaccine for children attending daycare
- NY: A933 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 1/9/2017 and referred to the Assembly Committee on Health: Mandate HPV Vaccine
- NY: A738 – OPPOSE – Introduced 1/9/2017 and referred to the Assembly Committee on Health; Mandate vaccines for employees working in children’s camps
- NY: S1043 – WATCH – Introduced on 1/6/2017 and referred to the Senate Higher Education Committee; Allows pharmacy interns to administer vaccines
- NY: S601 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 1/4/2017 and referred to Senate Health Committee; Requires a mandatory protocol be established for all children’s religious belief exemptions
- NY: S163 – SUPPORT – Introduced 1/4/2017 and referred to Senate Health Committee; Strengthens and expands existing medical exemptions to vaccination
- NY: S570 – OPPOSE – Referred to Senate Higher Education Committee on 1/4/2017; Allows pharmacist to administer flu vaccines to children 9 years and older
- NY: S132 – OPPOSE – Pre-filed and referred to Senate Health 1/4/2017; Mandates HPV Vaccine
- NY: S44 – OPPOSE – Pre-filed and referred to the Senate Health Committee 1/4/2017; Makes changes to existing law concerning reporting of adult vaccines
- OK: SB 831 – SUPPORT – Second reading on 2/7/2017 and referred to Senate Committee on Health & Human Services; Requires parental notification of exemptions by school boards, amends current quarantine law
- OK: SB 632 – OPPOSE – Second reading on 2/7/2017 and referred to Senate Committee on Education; Requires students in state care to be vaccinated with no exemptions
- OK: HB 1386/SB 808 – SUPPORT – SB 808: Second reading on 2/7/2017 and referred to Senate Committee on Health and Human Services; Enacts the Parental Rights Vaccine Act
- OK: SB 725 – OPPOSE – Second reading on 2/7/2017 and referred to Senate Committee on Education; Requires schools districts to report exemptions, gives Health and Ed Dept. rulemaking authority
- OK: SB 177 – SUPPORT – Second reading on 2/7/2017 and referred to Senate Committee on Education; Requires notification of available exemptions to vaccination be given to parents by school boards
- OK: SB 83 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 1/4/2017, first reading 2/6/2017; Eliminates conscientious and religious belief exemptions to vaccination
- OR: SB 687 – SUPPORT – Referred to the Senate Committees on Human Services and Health Care on 2/6/2017; Clarifies in state law that not vaccinating or delaying vaccination is not child abuse
- OR: SB 274 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 1/9/17: Referred to Senate Committee on Education on 1/17/17; New mandates for colleges concerning vaccines
- OR: SB 580 – SUPPORT – Introduced on 1/9/17: Referred to Senate Committee on Health Care on 1/17/17; Require vaccine providers to inform parents of vaccines required for school and of exemptions
- OR: SB 579 – SUPPORT – Introduced on 1/9/17: Referred to Senate Committee on Health Care on 1/17/17; New informed consent requirements for health care providers administering vaccines to children
- PA: SB 217 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 1/26/2017 and referred to the Senate Education Committee; Eliminates exemptions for strong moral and ethical convictions
- RI: SB 47 – SUPPORT – Introduced on 1/18/2017; Adds a personal belief exemption to vaccination
- SD: HB 1043 – OPPOSE – Tabled in Committee on Health and Human Services, died; Allows Pharmacists to administer vaccines, sets up new board to adopt rules pertaining to vaccines
- TN: HB 272 – SUPPORT – Introduced and assigned to Education Administration & Planning Subcommittee, 2/3/17; Concerning a statement of religious exemption for meningococcal vaccine for college students
- TN: HB 388 – OPPOSE – Filed for introduction on 2/2/2017: Requires schools to provide information on flu and flu vaccines every school year
- TX: SB 431 – WATCH – Introduced and referred to Senate Committee on Health & Human Services on 1/6/2017; Allows advanced practice registered nurses to sign medical exemptions
- TX: HB 1124 – SUPPORT – Filed on 1/18/2017; Requires the health dept. to make exemption affidavits available on their website and in schools
- TX: HB 1070 – SUPPORT – Introduced on 1/17/17; Prohibits health care providers from refusing to treat patients who refuse vaccination
- TX: HB 1029 – SUPPORT – Introduced on 1/13/2017; Adds additional informed consent requirements for health care providers administering vaccines
- TX: SB 54 – OPPOSE – Referred to Senate Committee on Health & Human Services on 1/24/17; REMOVES current protection in law for consent before any information is put into the registry
- TX: HB 243 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 11/14/2016; REMOVES current protection in law for consent before any information is put into the registry
- TX: HB 241 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 11/14/2016; RESTRICTS conscientious/religious exemptions, requires health care practitioner counselling
- TX: HB 120 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 11/14/2016; Removes conscientious and religious belief exemption language, replaces with non-medical
- TX: HB 97 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 11/14/2016; ELIMINATES parental consent by allowing child consent to HPV vaccine as cancer prevention treatment
- TX: HB 126 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 11/14/2016; Restricts conscientious/religious exemptions, requires completion of education module and adds fee
- TX: HB 107 – OPPOSE – Introduced on 11/14/2016; REQUIRES the health dept. to produce an annual report on HPV Vaccine statistics for every TX county
- VA: HB 1533 – OPPOSE – Subcommittee Failed to recommend reporting 1/24/2017; Mandates meningitis vaccine for students before entering sixth grade
- VA: SB 1519 – OPPOSE – Senate: Stricken at request of patron in Education and Health (13-Y 0-N) 1/26/2017; Mandates meningitis vaccine for students before entering sixth grade
- VA: SB 1028 – OPPOSE – Stricken at request of patron in Education and Health on 1/19/2017; Require posting of immunization rates by schools
- WA: HB 1641 – OPPOSE – Scheduled for executive session in the House Judiciary Committee on 2/9/2017; Allows school nurses and counselors to consent to vaccination for homeless youth
NVIC Advocacy Team National Vaccine Information Center
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.