After firestorm, Manny Diaz won’t review school vaccine mandates
Doctors should be able to give patients more FaceTime, Manny Diaz says.

'I in no way, shape, or form intend to change the existing vaccination statutes for Florida schoolchildren.'

Sen. Manny Diaz insisted Friday there will be no changes to the current list of vaccines required in schools, a move intended to tap down the backlash that flared up after the Hialeah Republican said he was open to reviewing them.

Diaz, chairman of the Senate Health Policy Committee, suggested it was time to look at school vaccine mandates during a Florida Politics interview discussing his plans for the upcoming 2022 Legislative Session beginning in January.

But in a statement to Florida Politics on Friday, Diaz said: “I in no way, shape, or form intend to change the existing vaccination statutes for Florida schoolchildren.”

Diaz made it clear that he remains firmly opposed to mandates associated with COVID-19 vaccines: “However, I will stand on the side of freedom and the state retaining its power to review any emergency vaccination use imposed by the federal government.”

He added that “I do believe a review is necessary if and when any new government-mandated vaccinations are introduced.”

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said last week he supports making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for eligible school children.

The Food and Drug Administration has given full authorization to the use of the Pfizer vaccine to those 16 and older, while vaccines are approved for emergency use for children 12 to 15.

Florida law requires a long line of vaccines for children attending school and day care, including measles, mumps, polio and chickenpox. The law does allow parents to exempt their children for religious or medical reasons.

Diaz’s decision to back away from any talk of tampering with existing school vaccine mandates comes after days of sharp criticism, most of it coming from Democrats.

Sen. Annette Taddeo said on Twitter, “I’m in utter disbelief. Not only would this be dangerous, but it’s a move to motivate the anti-vax base. When was the last time we saw cases of measles, mumps, or even chickenpox?? VACCINES WORK.”

Vaccine mandates were already a heated and contentious issue in Florida before the COVID-19 pandemic. Sen. Lauren Book two years ago filed a bill that would have eliminated religious exemptions for current school vaccine requirements, but she withdrew the legislation before the 2020 Session after a ferocious outpouring from those opposed to vaccines.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


  • Alex

    September 24, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    We need to change something alright.

    This guy needs to be looking for a job.

  • Harold Finch

    September 25, 2021 at 8:26 am

    I think this Jackass needs to be removed from office. Unconscionable to even review eliminating vaccines!

    • Christopher Kidwell

      September 25, 2021 at 12:53 pm

      No, it isn’t unconscionable. We now know that the SARS2 vaccines do not stop:

      By the data coming from one Israel.
      Time to admit the truth: These non-vaccine gene therapies were rushed, should have never gotten an EUA, and we should have focused on finding treatments (HCQ+Zinc and Ivermectin along with other cheap pharmaceuticals) for SARS2.

      • Nancy

        September 27, 2021 at 9:39 am

        The mRNA vaccines (Pfizer & Moderna were NOT rushed! and have been in research & development since the late 1980s.
        Usually virus vaccines are made with the virus — taking years to produce.
        A female American scientist developed the mRNA process by tricking Covid – making a Copy of the virus, rather than using it to make a vaccine.
        Hence, the mRNA vaccines were produced just as safely as using the virus.

      • Jim from Tampa

        September 27, 2021 at 4:43 pm

        What is One Israel? How are they relevant to this discussion?

    • Jerry

      September 26, 2021 at 11:23 pm

      Measles, Polio, and Chicken Pox vaccines give you immunity, and they stop you from spreading it. Those are actual real vaccines that WORK. They end the virus’s spread.

      However, these COVID vaccines do not make you immune, and they don’t stop you from spreading it. They will NOT end the pandemic. Their benefit is only to the individual taking it. You getting that vaccine does not protect me. It won’t stop me from getting infected by you.

      We need better vaccines to end the pandemic. And stop worshiping inferior vaccines that will do nothing but make the drug companies insanely rich with countless booster shots. You want to mandate this vaccine and force everyone to get a booster shot every 6 months? NO F******* WAY!!!!!!! We will fight you! I refuse to be poked every 6 months with this mRNA garbage that doesn’t even make me immune!

      • Nancy

        September 27, 2021 at 9:47 am

        Jerry, the vaccines are not 100% effective. Hence some vaxxed have breakthroughs with mild cases – but if hospitalized, they do return home.
        The only reason we need Boosters is because some people refuse to be vaccinated!
        The “medications” you recommend are NOT effective against Covid/delta.
        Hospitals are filled with the UNvaxxed that used them, per nurses and doctors.

  • Ian

    September 25, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    “Firestorm” is quite an exaggeration. A couple of Democrats venting on Twitter does not constitute a firestorm.

  • Alonzo F. Harrison

    September 25, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    There is overwhelming evidence that covid vaccines are safe and effective and underwhleming evidence that Ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine or zinc do anything to prevent or cure covid. It is irresponsible for your publication to leave posts on this board such as the one above (9-25-21 @ 12:53 pm).

    • Jerry

      September 26, 2021 at 11:54 pm

      Overwhelming evidence that they are effective? How? These vaccines don’t stop you from getting the virus. They don’t stop you from spreading it. And they don’t last more than 6-8 months. Sounds like a pretty crappy vaccine to me.

      How the hell is that considered “effective?” They may help reduce symptoms and should be given to people who are in high risk groups. Yes. But these vaccines WILL NOT end this pandemic. Even countries that have high vaccine rates are seeing spikes in cases. These vaccines will not eliminate COVID.

      • Nancy

        September 27, 2021 at 9:51 am

        Jerry, we now have the more deadly delta variant because so few are vaccinated.
        And another variant could develop now — even more deadly than delta —-because so FEW are vaccinated.

        • Rosalia Tranchina-Percey

          October 1, 2021 at 7:57 pm

          Unfortunately, highly vaccinated countries such as the Israel & the UK are seeing many breakthrough cases and more variants forming due to high vaccination rates. Many specialists have said all along that vaccinating during a pandemic is madness and creates more variants. A proper vaccine is supposed to stop transmission, lower infection rates and reduce deaths. Not the case here at all.

  • Paul

    September 25, 2021 at 8:31 pm

    When I moved here to Florida more than 30 years ago we had very good, thoughtful, intelligent people in the Florida Legislature who were clearly dedicated to our state and its people.. It has steadily gone down hill so now the legislature is populated with religious and ideological zealots with personal agendas and little or no interest in what is best for the people of our state or what the people want and need. Major public policy issues are routinely ignored while these zealots waste time on their personal issues. Nowadays there are very few in Tallahassee who I would consider worthy of the positions they hold. I think the Titanic had more responsible leadership.

    • Jerry

      September 26, 2021 at 11:47 pm

      So in other words you want tyrants that will force mandates and restrictions on the population? You want to become Australia who is basically becoming a police state?

      I don’t know about you but I am sick and tired of our government exploiting a crisis to trample over our civil liberties. We saw it with 9/11. We gave up freedoms with the Patriot Act. And we have to be molested by the TSA to board an airplane. All that to be “safe.” That’s the new normal.

      Now you want us to permanently give up more freedoms because of a pandemic. You want a new normal where everyone has to carry around vax passes and QR codes just to participate in society. All in the name of “public safety.”

      “The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants.” – Albert Camus.

      • Nancy

        September 27, 2021 at 9:56 am

        Jerry, your comment is very similar to the UNvaxxed who Later, from their hospital bed, implore folks to get vaccinated!
        Some of their last words to a nurse holding their hands is –
        “I thought it was a Hoax.” Sad.

        • John

          October 1, 2021 at 10:50 pm

          Nancy, 40+ million Americans recovered from the hyper-flu virus. Its unfortunate that 70+% of Americans are overweight and unhealthy thus contributing to the high death rate. Still, the deaths of the virus are behind heart disease and cancer in this country. Our real issue is the health epidemic in this country that’s contributing to the pandemic. And by the way all the variants of covid came from other countries, it makes more sense to focus on them.

  • Tom Palmer

    September 27, 2021 at 4:24 am

    We gave up a lot of our freedoms after 9/11. That was a .police state bureaucrat’s wet dream.

  • drfraudstikillermd

    September 29, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    FACT: People who are VACCINATED WITH COVID VACCINEs can STILL spread and get COVID, therefore THEY ARE ALSO A THREAT to public safety. Boom. End of lawsuit to mandate vaccines. Should you get one. Sure. Get it. Get two or three. Knock yourselves out. It’s your body. Just don’t tell others they need to when you vaccinated people can still get and spread covid.

Comments are closed.


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