(1) The department shall conduct a communicable disease prevention and control program as part of fulfilling its public health mission. A communicable disease is any disease caused by transmission of a specific infectious agent, or its toxic products, from an infected person, an infected animal, or the environment to a susceptible host, either directly or indirectly. The communicable disease program must include, but need not be limited to:
(a) Programs for the prevention and control of tuberculosis in accordance with chapter 392.
(b) Programs for the prevention and control of human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome in accordance with chapter 384 and this chapter.
(c) Programs for the prevention and control of sexually transmissible diseases in accordance with chapter 384.
(d) Programs for the prevention, control, and reporting of communicable diseases of public health significance as provided for in this chapter.
(e) Programs for the prevention and control of vaccine-preventable diseases, including programs to immunize school children as required by s. 1003.22(3)-(11) and the development of an automated, electronic, and centralized database or registry of immunizations. The department shall ensure that all children in this state are immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases. The immunization registry shall allow the department to enhance current immunization activities for the purpose of improving the immunization of all children in this state.
1. Except as provided in subparagraph 2., the department shall include all children born in this state in the immunization registry by using the birth records from the Office of Vital Statistics. The department shall add other children to the registry as immunization services are provided.
2. The parent or guardian of a child may refuse to have the child included in the immunization registry by signing a form obtained from the department, or from the health care practitioner or entity that provides the immunization, which indicates that the parent or guardian does not wish to have the child included in the immunization registry. The decision to not participate in the immunization registry must be noted in the registry.
3. The immunization registry shall allow for immunization records to be electronically transferred to entities that are required by law to have such records, including schools, licensed child care facilities, and any other entity that is required by law to obtain proof of a child’s immunizations.
4. Any health care practitioner licensed under chapter 458, chapter 459, or chapter 464 in this state who complies with rules adopted by the department to access the immunization registry may, through the immunization registry, directly access immunization records and update a child’s immunization history or exchange immunization information with another authorized practitioner, entity, or agency involved in a child’s care. The information included in the immunization registry must include the child’s name, date of birth, address, and any other unique identifier necessary to correctly identify the child; the immunization record, including the date, type of administered vaccine, and vaccine lot number; and the presence or absence of any adverse reaction or contraindication related to the immunization. Information received by the department for the immunization registry retains its status as confidential medical information and the department must maintain the confidentiality of that information as otherwise required by law. A health care practitioner or other agency that obtains information from the immunization registry must maintain the confidentiality of any medical records in accordance with s. 456.057 or as otherwise required by law.
(2) The department may adopt, repeal, and amend rules related to the prevention and control of communicable diseases and the administration of the immunization registry. Such rules may include procedures for investigating disease, timeframes for reporting disease, definitions, procedures for managing specific diseases, requirements for followup reports of known or suspected exposure to disease, and procedures for providing access to confidential information necessary for disease investigations. For purposes of the immunization registry, the rules may include procedures for a health care practitioner to obtain authorization to use the immunization registry, methods for a parent or guardian to elect not to participate in the immunization registry, and procedures for a health care practitioner licensed under chapter 458, chapter 459, or chapter 464 to access and share electronic immunization records with other entities allowed by law to have access to the records.