FCAAP Supports Legislation to Increase Vaccination Rates in Florida Schools

Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Supports Legislation to Increase Vaccination Rates in Florida Schools

SB 1936 Filed by Senator Lauren Book would eliminate non-medical vaccine exemptions for school-aged children and keep kids safe from preventable deadly illnesses

Tallahassee, FL (March 11, 2021) – The Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes routine immunizations as a key component of pediatric healthcare and a critical pillar of public health. The Chapter supports SB 1936 filed by Senator Lauren Book which would remove non-medical exemptions for vaccines statewide and help ensure that Florida’s children are protected from serious vaccine preventable diseases through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

“Vaccines are the most effective and safest way of preventing communicable diseases and save between two and three million children’s lives each year,” says Dr. Lisa Gwynn, President of the Florida Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us firsthand that we cannot let our guard down and must continue to make vaccinations a number one public health priority.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of Florida has seen a dramatic decline in childhood immunizations, leaving Florida’s children and most vulnerable populations at risk for vaccine preventable diseases. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend children continue to receive routine vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Book’s bill would not affect necessary medical exemptions for children who are unable to be vaccinated due to allergies or reactions to specific vaccines or those whose immune systems are compromised by medication or illness. In these cases, a physician would still be able to grant a medical exemption.

Parents should remember that proper steps have been taken to keep them and their family safe during their visit to their child’s pediatrician. Families without vaccine insurance coverage may be eligible for vaccines at reduced or no cost through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. To learn about the Florida VFC program, visit www.floridahealth.gov and to find a pediatrician, visit www.fcaap.org/parents.

“Immunizations aren’t just for protecting ourselves, they help protect the people around us who may not be able to receive vaccines like newborns, cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, patients with compromised immune systems, and the elderly,” said Dr. Gwynn. “It’s important for all of us who are healthy – especially our children – to do our part in reducing the spread of disease by getting vaccinated to protect our community and future generations.”

About FCAAP

Through its more than 2,400 members, the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics promotes the health & welfare of Florida’s children and supports pediatricians & pediatric specialists as the best qualified providers of their healthcare. Learn more by visiting www.fcaap.org.

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CONTACT:
Melanie Range
Communications Coordinator
Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
mrange@fcaap.org
850-224-3939