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Florida Senate Passes Amended Medical Freedom Bill

In addition to prohibiting discrimination based on COVID-19 status, the law now covers potential future vaccines that fall under Emergency Use Authorization – and mRNA vaccines until June 2025.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — After an uproar from citizens and medical freedom activists over a bill that some considered full of loopholes, the Florida Senate passed a slightly amended version on Thursday.

The main difference from the committee version is that the term “COVID-19” has been stricken out of the proof of vaccination ban and the bill text expanded to cover “any vaccine defined under subsection (2)” – which includes COVID-19 vaccine, vaccines that fall under Emergency Use Authorization as defined in federal law, and mRNA vaccines.

The prohibition on requiring proof of mRNA vaccination, however, sunsets on June 1, 2025.

A seemingly nervous Sen. Colleen Burton (R-Lakeland) read the amendments and then got bogged down in a lengthy back-and-forth with Sen. Polsky (D-Boca Raton), who especially disliked the fact that the bill banned forced masking.

The legislation passed with 29-6. But medical freedom activist Mo van Hoek, who took the initiative for a more comprehensive bill that stalled in the Legislature, is disappointed in SB 252:

“Our original bill, SB 222, was a powerful civil rights bill created by two moms. Its single altruistic purpose was to ensure that all of Florida's children's future was safe. Sadly, it was trampled over by the powerful political machine of special interests, Big Pharma and a collusive legislative body that panders to political games at the expense of children,” van Hoek said.

“Moreover, the provision on international health organizations’ authority over Florida’s public health policy does not in fact prohibit it – instead, it creates a blueprint on how to implement it. This language is to give our state government cover to be protected from future lawsuits,” van Hoek argues.

Her fellow medical freedom supporter Justin Harvey is more positive:

“There are a few things with the bill that aren’t perfect, but at least we have one – unlike other states,” he says.