Florida Legislature Renews Attempts to Enshrine Civil Rights Protections from Immunization

Florida Legislature Renews Attempts to Enshrine Civil Rights Protections from Immunization

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
December 6, 2023

Florida Senator Joe Gruters (R) has filed a bill that would outlaw many private or public immunization requirements. 

The law defines vaccine requirements as the imposition of a medical procedure designed to stimulate the human body’s immune response against communicable, i.e., contagious, diseases. 

Affected vaccines would include those targeting COVID-19, Flu, and similar contagious diseases

Neither private nor public employers would be able to impose immunization requirements on potential or current employees nor alter employment conditions or benefits based on immunization status. 

If passed, the State of Florida would also be prohibited from mandating compulsory immunization tracking, 

Additionally, barring individuals from accessing any public or private service depending on their immunization status would also be prohibited. 

The act would go into effect July 1st, 2024. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) attempted to convince the legislature to pass similar legislation earlier this year but was ultimately unable to.

Governor DeSantis has relied in the past on executive decrees to ban vaccine requirements in Florida. 

During the COVID pandemic, DeSantis staunchly opposed calls for increased government intervention through lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccine requirements.

In 2021, the popular idea of vaccine passports caused a political storm within the Florida legislature. 

In spite of torrential criticism for his policies, DeSantis’ Florida emerged from the pandemic with similar death rates to those of states with stringent health regulations. 

Additionally, the synergy produced by decreased health regulations and free-market economics has made Florida one of the fastest-growing states in the US both in population and economy. 

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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