Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law on Thursday that will require parents to inform their children if they receive vaccines, reports FOX 25, The Christian Post.
The bill removes a moratorium on autism and autism spectrum disorder lawsuits, and makes immunizations mandatory at the ages of 2, 4, 6, and 12.
It also repeals the state’s law that holds on to conscience protections for companies over the requirement that all businesses carry a list of immunizations.
The law does not apply to education, but experts are concerned that many opt out of school due to the threat of lawsuits.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce called the legislation a “colossal miscarriage of justice and policy,” claiming the new law will deter parents from vaccinating their children and create problems.
Studies conducted by an esteemed international academic organization, the Institute of Medicine, has found no link between vaccines and autism.
This comes from a report by The Daily Caller, stating that the Institute of Medicine published information in July 2016 that found, “Neither the current evidence to support a causal link between the MMR vaccine and autism nor the evidence to support a causal link between the MMR vaccine and other diseases or chronic health conditions justify the bans [on vaccinating autistic children].”
The Institute of Medicine’s report also confirmed that “there is no evidence that the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccination regimen causes autism.”
In a September 2018 study published in The Journal of Environmental Psychology, entitled “Immunization and the Autism Spectrum Disorder,” Dr. Mitchel Lipson, PhD from Saint Louis University found that “greater vaccine acceptance correlates with lower incidence of ASD.”
He concluded that “vaccination is protective of the general population against autism and the frequency of ASD in the population may be indirectly decreased by more vaccination.”
As the saying goes, states should take decisions involving children’s health and welfare into their own hands, which is why the South Florida county of Lee opted out of other counties making vaccines mandatory.
However, DeSantis, who pledged to suspend the law until it is proven to have a negative effect on his children, is making sure parents will have the means to opt out of the policy.
DeSantis is not the first Florida Republican to be pushing for this law to be signed. Former Gov. Jeb Bush passed a similar bill in 2000, and Florida’s neighboring state of Georgia repealed its vaccine law after two teenage girls in 2015 won a vaccine lawsuit against the government.
“Florida was on the cutting edge of efforts to remove dangerous vaccine exemptions,” said Kyla Bennett, policy director for the non-profit, data-driven group the Immunization Coalition, “until Gov. DeSantis gutted the immunization laws.”
Featured image credit: Joe Raedle AP Images
The Christian Post reported in February that The Immunization Coalition issued a statement explaining that the new law, the “Initiative Request by Governor Ron DeSantis,” allows “any individual, organization, or business to opt out of immunization laws that might interfere with their mission.”
The group points out that the laws are not about forcing parents to vaccinate their children, but instead to “preserve parents’ autonomy to decide whether or not to expose their children to chemicals and toxins in vaccines.”