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Florida Shots

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
My son is 4 months old and we just got a letter in the mail from the state department of health stating that he is enrolled in the Florida Shots program and how great it is because they will track his shots and nurses, doctors, etc can get his immunization record in seconds.

Well, I am not thrilled about this. There was a form that came in the package that I could fill out and send in to get him removed from the program so I did that. At the bottom of the form it states something along the lines of “By signing this form I understand I still need to vaccinate against deadly diseases. I understand that I need to vaccinate my child so they can attend and preschool and school in the State”. I crossed it out and sent it in.

Does anyone here live in Florida with a newborn and what was your experience? Do they take you out of this program? Will they still take the form even though I crossed that out?

I am not happy about the idea of some health worker calling my house to harass me because my son isn’t up to date on his shots.

Thanks!
post #2 of 16
I don't know how they even got him on the list. Did your ped or midwife do it?

I've never had to refuse anything, though my kids have exemptions, which I would recommend you get. Relatively easy if you choose the right health dept.

Creepy, isn't it?
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes, it is creepy!! I can only assume that when he was registered for the birth, he got on the list. I specifically asked my midwife if she put him on the list yesterday and she said no. I guess my pediatrician could have done it, but he knows we aren’t vaxing. I will ask at our next appointment.

Hmmm should I bother with the exemption before he is in school? I assumed it would be easier to wait but maybe it’s best to get it out of the way.
post #4 of 16
Thats interesting CanidFL. I am in FL too and will be having my second child in June. I didnt have my first one here though, so I dont know about those forms.. Sounds kind of annoying though!
post #5 of 16
I went ahead and got the exemption just because my other children needed one for school. It was easy enough and doesn't expire.
post #6 of 16
There have been a few other threads in the vax forum discussing the FLSHOTS program, about whether or not people opted out, etc. Some did, some didn't. You can probably easily find the threads with a search. There were valid arguments to be had for whichever decision people made.

I didn't send in the opt out form because I felt like it would be drawing more attention to us. I was v.v. paranoid. FWIW, DS is over 2 and we've never heard anything from anyone about not having had him vaxed. And yes, it's extremely creepy that the whole thing just comes to you in the mail with no warning or solicitation. I got mine a few weeks after DS was born. I thought it was weird and a little....1984-ish. I'm sure if we vaxed then I would think it was nifty and mighty nice of them .

I got his religious exemption a few months ago even though I hadn't needed it and I don't anticipate starting him in preschool anytime soon. I just figured I'd have it if I needed it and maybe if we had to go to the ER then I'd have it on hand and would get less crap for not having had him vaxed. These days, I'm all about making things easy on myself, kwim? If he gets hurt the last thing I need to be doing is arguing with some dr about why we don't vax.

They shouldn't give you any trouble about getting DC's exemption, there is a thread about people's experiences in the finding your tribe/florida area. They aren't supposed to give you a hard time, they aren't supposed to ask you any personal religious questions, etc. It may take a day to get it signed and you might have to go back and pick it up. HTH!
post #7 of 16
post #8 of 16
I used the opt out form, but I didn't bother crossing through the words at the bottom. The form that I signed said "I also understand that my child still needs immunizations for protection against dangerous vaccine-preventable disease and that exclusion from Florida SHOTS does not exempt my child from vaccinations required for child care and school attendance." I didn't bother crossing through it because I went and got the religious exemption for my son (and will be getting one for my daughter when we need to sign her up for school). That sentence didn't concern me because I DO understand that opting out of the SHOTS database does not exempt me from getting vaccinations for my child. The exemption process is a separate form that you get at the health department.

Both of my children were removed from the database. I called the 800 number about a month later to verify that they were removed. Even if we were vaccinating our children, I wouldn't want them being tracked. I think it is creepy and an invasion of privacy. Medical records should be kept private, IMO.

Anyway...if your child was born in a hospital, they are automatically put into the database in Florida. Nice, huh?

You can always give a call in a month or so to see if your child was removed. Here is a copy of the form with the 877 number at the bottom http://www.flshots.org/_pdfs/OptOutDH-1478.pdf
post #9 of 16
I gave birth at home and ds was still put on the list. It's automatic now....once you send in the birth registration. I opted my boys out. I suggest calling the number and double checking. Even though I sent in the form they had not put him in the opt out section. The woman on the phone was super nice. Even the nurse at the Dept of Health in my town is very very nice to me....after I called her on her bluff.
post #10 of 16
While I don't like the whole idea of this automated system, the opt out portion that you have to sign doesn't say that you WILL get vaccinated. All it says it that you understand that you are required to do so. By required you are also supposed to get an exemtion if you aren't going to allow the shots. It's like- CYA for them. THey cover them selves because they told you that you are supposed to vacinate. Not that you have to.
post #11 of 16
I think that you are registered when you send in the app for a birth certificate.

That being said, I havent opted out (yet) and have never received a call or anything........I was semi-paranoid that if we did opt out that it would be a red-flag somewhere

(My ds are 4 and 18 mo)

hth!
post #12 of 16
I was surprised to see the form to opt out that came with DS's birth certificate. I never sent it in though, just out of forgetfulness. I actually still have it on my desk, two years later. I don't know if opting out would cause as much attention as him being in the registry as totally unvaccinated, but I've never gotten a phone call about it at all.
post #13 of 16
Wow, DD was born at home in Florida and I never experienced this despite being vax-fre...weird!
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
It’s good to hear the different opinions. I was under the impression that they would be calling me all the time to get vaccinated. I thought the school would be able to look up his history at any time and maybe vaccinate without me knowing because he was behind. I thought going to the ER would be a hassle because they would look him up as soon as we got there and then treat us like dirt. I am just a paranoid person lol. I didn’t even think of opting out causing me to attract attention.

I agree that medical history being tracked is way too personal and they have no business doing that.

Oh well….I sent it in and I will call in a month to see if he was taken out.
post #15 of 16
I didn't know they sent something in the mail. If I haven't gotten anything, does that mean DS isn't in the database? How can I find that out? (ETA: thank you amydep for the link!) We have been to a ped so I thought they might have registered him, but still, nothing in the mail. I haven't sent in the form b/c I wasn't sure if it would really remove him (if he's on it) and also didn't want to draw attention. We did get a birth cert. after he was born at home.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by LianneM View Post
I didn't know they sent something in the mail. If I haven't gotten anything, does that mean DS isn't in the database? How can I find that out? (ETA: thank you amydep for the link!) We have been to a ped so I thought they might have registered him, but still, nothing in the mail. I haven't sent in the form b/c I wasn't sure if it would really remove him (if he's on it) and also didn't want to draw attention. We did get a birth cert. after he was born at home.
I think if you call that 877 number on the bottom section of the form, you can give your child's information and they can see if they are in the system. Chances are, they already are.

I am not concerned at all about drawing attention to the fact that I don't want my kids tracked in the database. I think the whole idea of the database is terrible, and it doesn't bother me one bit that they know we opted out. Like I said before, even if we were vaxing, I would choose to have my kids opted out. I don't like the idea of random people (school nurses, etc.) being able to pull up my children's vax information. Obviously, my son will have a religious exemption on file with the school, and that is all they need.
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