You are here:   Home > Announcement Details
Register   |  Login

Establishes a philosophical belief exemption to vaccination, allows for in house quarantine

Location: HI
Title: Establishes a philosophical belief exemption to vaccination, allows for in house quarantine
Identifier: HB 779
Action Required: None, died
Status: Died, failed to move forward


UPDATE: 6/20/2018 - HB 779 failed to move, died. 

UPDATE: 1/17/2018 - HB 779 has been carried over from 2017 and referred to the House Committees on Health and Judiciary on 1/17/2018.  The bill has not had any activity since being referred to committee. 

UPDATE: 3/9/2017 - HB 779 has not moved since being referred to committee. March 9th was the deadline for bills to pass third reading in order to move (or “crossover”) to the other chamber.  The Hawaii legislative session is estimated to end on 5/5/2017.  However, bills can carry over from odd-numbered years to even-numbered years. - calendar

UPDATE 1/26/2017: HB 779 was referred to House Committees on Health and Judiciary on 1/25/17.

HB 779 was introduced and had a first reading on 1/23/2017.  This bill is sponsored by Representatives Creagan, Oshiro, Tupola and Ichiyama.  

This bill would establish a philosophical belief exemption to vaccination in current law - 325-34 - which is Title 19. Health, Infectious and communicable diseases.  Exemptions to vaccination requirements for schools are in the Education Code - 302A-1156 (see copy below). 

This bill would also give authority to the director of health to order unvaccinated individuals to self-quarantine in the their legal place of residence if in his/her opinion there is a danger of an epidemic from any communicable disease.  While this is an improvement from the current law that no objections will be recognized, this section is overly broad.

It is not clear if this new exemption would apply to school children because the bill does not specifically address the school immunization law and exemptions.  If it is the intent of the bill to allow for philosophical belief exemptions for school there should be a direct reference to the school law. 

Current Law:





HRS § 325-32. Immunization against infectious diseases

The department of health may adopt rules requiring and governing immunization against typhoid fever, pertussis (whooping cough), diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, hepatitis B, rubella, haemophilus influenzae type B, and any other communicable disease, if a suitable immunizing agent is available for the disease and a need for immunization against it exists within the State. The department may also provide vaccines and other immunizing agents to private and public health care providers for administration to the general public.

HRS § 325-34. Exemptions   

Section 325-32 shall be construed not to require the vaccination or immunization of any person for three months after a duly licensed physician, physician assistant, or an authorized representative of the department of health has signed two copies of a certificate stating the name and address of the person and that because of a stated cause the health of the person would be endangered by the vaccination or immunization, and has forwarded the original copy of the certificate to the person or, if the person is a minor or under guardianship, to the person's parent or guardian, and has forwarded the duplicate copy of the certificate to the department for its files.
No person shall be subjected to vaccination, revaccination or immunization, who shall in writing object thereto on the grounds that the requirements are not in accordance with the religious tenets of an established church of which the person is a member or adherent, or, if the person is a minor or under guardianship, whose parent or guardian shall in writing object thereto on such grounds, but no objection shall be recognized when, in the opinion of the director of health, there is danger of an epidemic from any communicable disease. 

HRS § 302A-1156. Exemptions

A child may be exempted from the required immunizations:

(1) If a licensed physician certifies that the physical condition of the child is such that immunizations would endanger the child's life or health; or 

(2) If any parent, custodian, guardian, or any other person in loco parentis to a child objects to immunization in writing on the grounds that the immunization conflicts with that person's bonafide religious tenets and practices. Upon showing the appropriate school official satisfactory evidence of the exemption, no certificate or other evidence of immunization shall be required for entry into school.