Florida considers ‘zero tolerance’ policy on vaccinations in schools

Seems like they have the virus figured out. Florida’s Republican-led Legislature passed a law this week that would prevent counties and cities from enacting laws mandating vaccination for children in public schools. The proposal…

Florida considers ‘zero tolerance’ policy on vaccinations in schools

Seems like they have the virus figured out. Florida’s Republican-led Legislature passed a law this week that would prevent counties and cities from enacting laws mandating vaccination for children in public schools. The proposal comes after lawmakers saw local officials from Broward County take measures that have come under fire as attempts to decrease immunization rates.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. David Simmons, was passed out of the state House of Representatives this week. Simmons cited the “false claims” of parents who say vaccines can cause serious medical conditions as the motivation for the bill. According to CNN, Simmons told the House speaker’s conference, the state should be focused on providing healthy children a “whole child approach” to education. “Please don’t give one child a bill that influences the well-being of another child,” Simmons said, citing a CDC study that found lower vaccination rates were linked to more than a dozen different infectious diseases. “This is an isolated opportunity,” Simmons said, adding that it was “self-defeating” to act only in response to outbreaks. “It makes no sense,” he said.

Simmons said that he felt local policies were an important part of education. According to the Tampa Bay Times, many communities at the center of the outbreak are mandating inoculations for school attendance.

In response to Florida’s proposed vaccination law, Florida’s state health commissioner said he would rather the state “focus on educating parents and making sure they’re making informed decisions.”

BREAKING: Broward Health launches program to offer free vaccines to parents. pic.twitter.com/Q3HpaTO8pP — Khady Abou-Jaoude (@khadyjaoude) February 27, 2017

The move comes as Florida faces another threat — measles is making a comeback on the state. On Wednesday, CNN reported that a 59-year-old Houston woman who emigrated from Cameroon, Africa, passed away after contracting the disease. It is the first time measles has been recorded in the United States since 1995. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the recent influx of refugees to the U.S. from both Syria and Nigeria have helped drive the measles resurgence. In light of the recent outbreak, Florida is also considering instituting new law that would make it illegal for people to bring certain contagious diseases like Zika, Ebola and flu into the U.S.

Read the full story at The Huffington Post.

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