This proposed amendment is intended take away the State Health Officer's ability to order forced vaccines under 381.00315.
A bill to be entitled
An act relating to vaccinations, medical treatments, medical examination, medical testing, isolation and quarantines during public health emergencies; amending s. 381.00315, F.S.; amending s. 381.003, F.S.; removing the authority of the State Health Officer to order forced vaccinations, medical treatment, medical examination, medical testing and quarantine upon declaration of a public health emergency; revising a requirement that the Department of Health adopt certain rules; providing an effective date.
Be it Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Paragraph (a), (b) and (c) of subsection (1). 381.00315, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
381.00315 Public health advisories; public health emergencies; isolation and quarantines.—The State Health Officer is responsible for declaring public health emergencies, issuing public health advisories, and ordering isolation or quarantines.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Isolation” means the separation of an individual who is
reasonably believed beyond a reasonable doubt to be infected with a communicable disease from individuals who are not infected, to prevent the possible spread of the disease.
(b) “Public health advisory” means any warning or report giving information to the public about a potential public health threat. Before issuing any public health advisory, the State Health Officer must consult with any state or local agency regarding areas of responsibility which may be affected by such advisory. Upon determining that issuing a public health advisory is necessary to protect the public health and safety, and prior to issuing the advisory, the State Health Officer must notify each county health department within the area which is affected by the advisory of the State Health Officer’s intent to issue the advisory. The State Health Officer is authorized to take any action which is legal and appropriate to enforce any public health advisory.
(c) “Public health emergency” means any occurrence, or threat thereof, whether natural or manmade, which results or may result in substantial injury or harm to the public health from infectious disease, chemical agents, nuclear agents, biological toxins, or situations involving mass casualties or natural disasters. Before declaring a public health emergency, the State Health Officer
shall, to the extent possible, consult with must obtain the consent of the Governor, the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate and shall they must notify the Chief of Domestic Security. The declaration of a public health emergency shall continue until the State Health Officer, the Governor, the Speaker of the House or the Senate President finds notifies the Chief of Domestic Security that they have determined that the threat or danger has been dealt with to the extent that the emergency conditions no longer exist and he or she they wish to remove their consent to the continuation of the emergency and terminate s the declaration. However, a A declaration of a public health emergency may not continue for longer than will automatically expire 60 days from declaration unless the Governor concurs in the files in writing a renewal of the declaration. A renewal declaration by the Governor will be valid for 30 days and the Governor may file additional renewal declarations in writing. Each renewal declaration will extend the termination of the emergency to 30 days beyond the date of such declaration. The public health emergency will automatically expire if the Governor does not timely file a renewal declaration. The State Health Officer, upon declaration of during a public health emergency, may take actions that are necessary to protect the public health. Such actions include, but are not limited to:
1. Directing manufacturers of prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs who are permitted under chapter 499 and wholesalers of prescription drugs located in this state who are permitted under chapter 499 to give priority to the shipping of specified drugs to pharmacies and health care providers within geographic areas that have been identified by the State Health Officer. The State Health Officer must identify the drugs to be shipped. Manufacturers and wholesalers located in the state must respond to the State Health Officer’s priority shipping directive before shipping the specified drugs.
2. Notwithstanding chapters 465 and 499 and rules adopted thereunder, directing pharmacists employed by the department to compound bulk prescription drugs and provide these bulk prescription drugs to physicians and nurses of county health departments or any qualified person authorized by the State Health Officer for administration to persons as part of a prophylactic or treatment regimen.
3. Notwithstanding s. 456.036, temporarily reactivating the inactive license of the following health care practitioners, when such practitioners are needed to respond to the public health emergency: physicians licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459; physician assistants licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459; licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and advanced practice registered nurses licensed under part I of chapter 464; respiratory therapists licensed under part V of chapter 468; and emergency medical technicians and paramedics certified under part III of chapter 401. Only those health care practitioners specified in this paragraph who possess an unencumbered inactive license and who request that such license be reactivated are eligible for reactivation. An inactive license that is reactivated under this paragraph shall return to inactive status when the public health emergency ends or before the end of the public health emergency if the State Health Officer determines that the health care practitioner is no longer needed to provide services during the public health emergency. Such licenses may only be reactivated for a period not to exceed 90 days without meeting the requirements of s. 456.036 or chapter 401, as applicable.
Ordering Requesting an individual to be examined, tested, vaccinated, treated, isolated, or quarantined for communicable diseases that have significant morbidity or mortality and present a severe danger to public health. Individuals who are unable or unwilling to be examined, tested, vaccinated, or treated for reasons of health, religion, or conscience may be subjected to isolation or quarantine, only when the individual’s primary care physician provides a statement in writing that the individual is beyond a reasonable doubt infected with a desease and that the individual has a high probability of infecting other individuals.
a. Examination, testing, vaccination, or treatment may be performed by any qualified person authorized by the State Health Officer.
If the individual poses a danger to the public health, the State Health Officer may subject the individual to isolation or quarantine. If there is no practical method to isolate or quarantine the individual, the State Health Officer may use any means necessary to vaccinate or treat the individual. If isolation or quarantine is permitted by this section such isolation or quarantine shall be carried out by the least restrictive means.
Any order of the State Health Officer given to effectuate this paragraph shall be immediately enforceable by a law enforcement officer under s. 381.0012.
(d) “Quarantine” means the separation of an individual reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease, but who is not yet ill, from individuals who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the disease.
(2) Individuals who assist the State Health Officer at his or her request on a volunteer basis during a public health emergency are entitled to the benefits specified in s. 110.504(2), (3), (4), and (5).
(3) To facilitate effective emergency management, when the United States Department of Health and Human Services contracts for the manufacture and delivery of licensable products in response to a public health emergency and the terms of those contracts are made available to the states, the department shall accept funds provided by counties, municipalities, and other entities designated in the state emergency management plan required under s. 252.35(2)(a) for the purpose of participation in those contracts. The department shall deposit those funds in the Grants and Donations Trust Fund and expend those funds on behalf of the donor county, municipality, or other entity for the purchase of the licensable products made available under the contract.
(4) The department has the duty and the authority to declare, enforce, modify, and abolish the isolation and quarantine of
persons, animals, and premises as the circumstances indicate for controlling communicable diseases or providing protection from unsafe conditions that pose a threat to public health, except as provided in ss. 384.28 and 392.545-392.60. Any order of the department issued pursuant to this subsection shall be immediately enforceable by a law enforcement officer under s. 381.0012.
(5) The department shall adopt rules to specify the conditions and procedures for imposing and releasing an isolation or a quarantine. The rules must include provisions related to:
(a) The closure of premises.
(b) The movement of persons or animals exposed to or infected with a communicable disease.
(c) The tests or treatment, including vaccination, for communicable disease required before employment or admission to the premises or to comply with an isolation or a quarantine.
Section 2. Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) 381.003 Florida Statutes are amended to read:
381.003 Communicable disease and AIDS prevention and control.—
(1) The department shall conduct a communicable disease prevention and control program as part of fulfilling its public health mission. A communicable disease is any disease caused by transmission of a specific infectious agent, or its toxic products, from an infected person, an infected animal, or the environment to a susceptible host, either directly or indirectly. The communicable disease program must include, but need not be limited to:
(a) Programs for the prevention and control of tuberculosis in accordance with chapter 392.
(b) Programs for the prevention and control of human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome in accordance with chapter 384 and this chapter.
(c) Programs for the prevention and control of sexually transmissible diseases in accordance with chapter 384.
(d) Programs for the prevention, control, and reporting of communicable diseases of public health significance as provided for in this chapter.
(e) Develop and provide access to, but not require the participation in. p
Programs for the prevention and control of vaccine-preventable diseases, including programs to immunize school children as required by s. 1003.22(3)-(11) and the development of an automated, electronic, and centralized database and registry of immunizations. The department shall ensure that all children in this state are afforded access to be immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases. The immunization registry must allow the department to enhance current immunization activities for the purpose of improving the immunization of all children in this state.
1. Except as provided in subparagraph 2., the department shall include all children born in this state in the immunization registry by using the birth records from the Office of Vital Statistics. The department shall add other children to the registry as immunization services are provided.
2. The parent or guardian of a child may refuse to have the child included in the immunization registry by signing a form obtained from the department, or from the health care practitioner or entity that provides the immunization, which indicates that the parent or guardian does not wish to have the child included in the immunization registry. Each consent to treatment form provided by a health care practitioner or by an entity that administers vaccinations or causes vaccinations to be administered to children from birth through 17 years of age must contain a notice stating that the parent or guardian of a child may refuse to have his or her child included in the immunization registry. The parent or guardian must provide such opt-out form to the health care practitioner or entity upon administration of the vaccination. Such health care practitioner or entity shall submit the form to the department. A parent or guardian may submit the opt-out form directly to the department. Any records or identifying information pertaining to the child shall be removed from the registry, if the parent or guardian has refused to have his or her child included in the immunization registry.
3. A college or university student, from 18 years of age to 23 years of age, who obtains a vaccination from a college or university student health center or clinic in the state may refuse to be included in the immunization registry by signing a form obtained from the department, health center, or clinic which indicates that the student does not wish to be included in the immunization registry. The student must provide such opt-out form to the health center or clinic upon administration of the vaccination. Such health center or clinic shall submit the form to the department. A student may submit the opt-out form directly to the department. Any records or identifying information pertaining to the student shall be removed from the registry if the student has refused to be included in the immunization registry.
4. The immunization registry shall allow for immunization records to be electronically available to entities that are required by law to have such records, including, but not limited to, schools and licensed child care facilities.
5. A health care practitioner licensed under chapter 458, chapter 459, or chapter 464 in this state who administers vaccinations or causes vaccinations to be administered to children from birth through 17 years of age is required to report vaccination data to the immunization registry, unless a parent or guardian of a child has refused to have the child included in the immunization registry by meeting the requirements of subparagraph 2. A health care practitioner licensed under chapter 458, chapter 459, or chapter 464 in this state who administers vaccinations or causes vaccinations to be administered to college or university students from 18 years of age to 23 years of age at a college or university student health center or clinic is required to report vaccination data to the immunization registry, unless the student has refused to be included in the immunization registry by meeting the requirements of subparagraph 3. Vaccination data for students in other age ranges may be submitted to the immunization registry only if the student consents to inclusion in the immunization registry. The upload of data from existing automated systems is an acceptable method for updating immunization information in the immunization registry. The information in the immunization registry must include the child’s name, date of birth, address, and any other unique identifier necessary to correctly identify the child; the immunization record, including the date, type of administered vaccine, and vaccine lot number; and the presence or absence of any adverse reaction or contraindication related to the immunization. Information received by the department for the immunization registry retains its status as confidential medical information and the department must maintain the confidentiality of that information as otherwise required by law. A health care practitioner or other agency that obtains information from the immunization registry must maintain the confidentiality of any medical records in accordance with s. 456.057 or as otherwise required by law.
6. Under this statue, individuals retain the right to refuse all medical treatments, procedures, and prophylactic medical measures. These include but are not limited to, testing, treatment, gene therapy and vaccinations. All medical measures offered and implemented through a communicable disease prevention and control program shall be done with the written consent of participating individuals or their legal guardians.
(2) The department may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section.
Section 3. This Act shall take effect July 1, 2021