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Urgent Action Required: Stop Forced HPV Vaccines for Florida's Kids
Time is running out. A crushing wave of vaccine bills -- 4 in the past two weeks -- aim to strip Floridians and their kids of the right to privacy, informed consent, and medical freedom. Most immediately in need of attention: 2 HPV vaccine bills aim to force school children to receive a questionably effective vaccine known to have debilitating and even lethal side effects.
By Christina Favazza, Health Freedom Florida Executive Board and Sarah Dillingham, Freelance Journalist
In January 2018, Florida State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez and State Rep. Amy Mercado introduced identical senate and house bills SB 1558 ("The Women's Cancer Prevention Act") and HB 1343, respectively. These identical bills would add human papillomavirus (HPV) to the list of “preventable communicable diseases” for which childhood immunization is required in order to attend school.
When state bills are introduced, they are referred to relevant committees where they are amended if necessary and then put to vote. If a bill passes all committee votes, it moves to the house for general vote, and if passed, moves through the process in the other house (all bills must be passed in committee, house, and senate before being ratified into law).
Our goal is ideally to have these bills withdrawn before going to vote before committee, and barring that, to prevent passage in committee before moving to the house for general vote. The legislative strategy behind introducing identical redundant bills may be to divide or distract efforts of grassroots opposition; we must keep pressure on both bill sponsors and all committee members reviewing each bill. Hearing dates for these bills have not been posted as of 1/29/2018, but the Florida Legislative Session is short and moves very quickly so we are asking Floridians to take the following action now:
CALL TO ACTION:
1. CALL and EMAIL the sponsors of each bill and ask them to withdraw their bill, using the talking points listed below.
Contact information for Senator Rodriguez and Representative Mercado:
State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez (SB 1558 "The Women's Cancer Prevention Act"):
State Rep. Amy Mercado (HB 1343)
2. CALL and EMAIL your Florida State Senator and Representative and ask them to OPPOSE SB 1558 and HB 1343. Ask them NOT to become a co-sponsor.
Florida residents can find their state representatives here: https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/myrepresentative.aspx
3. CALL and EMAIL the committee members in each reviewing committee and explain why they should vote NO on these bills in committee, drawing from the talking points listed below.
HB 1343 reviewing committees (members listed below this article): Health Quality Subcommittee,
4. Log in often to the NVIC Advocacy Portal for updates. Be ready to contact committee members and attend committee hearings when they are scheduled for these bills. https://nvicadvocacy.org/members/Home.aspx
5. Please follow the Health Freedom Florida Facebook page for additional updates and calls to action, and encourage family and friends to become involved and contact their representatives as well.
NVIC TALKING POINTS LISTED HERE: https://www.facebook.com/HealthFreedomFlorida/posts/1947397115287805
ADDITIONAL POINTS TO CONSIDER:
1) If either bill is passed, Gardasil would be required for both boys and girls by 7th grade in order to attend school. The bills list HPV as a “preventable communicable disease” along with poliomyelitis, diphtheria, rubella, pertussis, mumps, tetanus, and other communicable diseases. However HPV is a sexually transmitted disease which is not airborne and cannot be transmitted through accidental or casual contact; neither staff nor school children are at risk of contracting HPV in a school environment.
Parents who currently comply with all immunization requirements for school would not be able to opt out of Gardasil individually. Parents who want to decline Gardasil for their children would have to seek a medical exemption or claim religious exemption for all vaccines. This bill will force many parents whose children are up to date with required immunizations to seek religious exemption, which could inadvertently create a disincentive for otherwise compliant, pro-vaccine parents to keep their kids up to date on other required immunizations.
Children currently up to date on immunization requirements for private school could lose their placement in Catholic and private schools if they don’t receive Gardasil by 7th grade. There is no single opt-out for any individual vaccine per Florida state law.
More information on Florida exemption laws can be found here: https://healthfreedomflorida.org/vaccines.html
2) Senate bill 1558 is titled "The Women's Cancer Prevention Act;" however, the HPV vaccine has never been demonstrated to prevent a single instance of cancer. “The journal Annals of Medicine wrote in 2013 that ‘clinical trials show no evidence that HPV vaccination can protect against cervical cancer,’ which is ‘a rare disease with mortality rates that are several times lower than the rate of reported serious adverse reactions (including deaths) from HPV vaccine.’" (Capital Gazette, 2016)
Gardasil protects vaccinees against a maximum of 9 strains of over 100 existing strains of HPV, of which 40 have been identified as potentially carcinogenic. In fact, there is compelling evidence that vaccinated subjects are more susceptible than their unvaccinated peers to particularly virulent strains of HPV not covered by the vaccine. (https://worldmercuryproject.org/news/high-risk-hpv-type-replacement-follows-hpv-vaccination/)
There are many case studies such as this one:
There is no evidence that mandating Gardasil for all children will prevent a single HPV-related cancer in the state of Florida.
3) The Florida Department of Health reports that cervical cancer is “almost totally treatable or preventable with routine screening,” and recommends standard screening every two years to prevent, detect, and treat cervical cancer. Dr. Diane Harper, a lead researcher in the development of the Gardasil vaccine, confirmed that Pap screening is still necessary for prevention and treatment of cervical cancer, regardless of vaccination status.
Per the Florida Department of Health, the mortality rate from cervical cancer in the state of Florida has remained constant, and incredibly rare, over the past decade at a rate of 2.7 per 100,000 (2008) or 0.003% (2017).
HPV-related cancers do not pose relatively significant risk to Floridians. Furthermore, regular screening is the most effective preventative measure, one which presents no significant risk to patients.
4) Final note: if either bill is passed, it will become effective July 2018, requiring all students entering grades 7-12 in the fall of 2018 to be up to date on Gardasil.
SB 1558 Reviewing Committees:
HB 1343 reviewing committees:
Democratic Ranking Member:
Democratic Ranking Member:
Democratic Ranking Member: