Last month, we alerted you that the California state legislature is considering a bill that threatens medical vaccine exemptions. That bill, S.B. 276, passed out of the Senate Health Committee Hearing last Wednesday, and is moving ahead to the Appropriations Committee.
If it passes there, it then goes to the Senate floor for a vote. And then it goes to through the whole process again in the Assembly, and then goes to the Governor. There are still lots of steps where we can kill this bill, if enough people speak up!
Four years ago, parents in California lost the right to file a philosophical or religious vaccine exemption for their children to attend school due to a bill by Senator Richard Pan – and now he is trying to severely restrict the only remaining vaccine exemption available.
S.B. 276 makes it even more difficult to obtain a medical exemption to vaccination. The bill would:
- Require a doctor to submit a standardized medical exemption form, developed by the State Department of Public Health, to the Department for any child that the doctor thinks should be medically exempt from vaccination. No other documentation would be allowed.
- Empower the State Public Health officer to either approve or deny the exemption request. The request would be denied unless there was “sufficient medical evidence that the immunization is contraindicated by the guidelines” of the CDC.
- Require the State Public Health Department to create and maintain a database of medical exemption requests approved and make the information in the database accessible to local public health officers.
- Require anyone with a current medical exemption to submit, by July 1, 2020, a copy of that medical exemption to the department for inclusion in the database in order for the medical exemption to remain valid.
- This bill would also allow a local public health officer to revoke a medical exemption if it is determined it is fraudulent or “inconsistent with applicable CDC guidelines.”
If Senator Pan’s bill passes, the state will decide what is best for your children’s health – not your doctor! Unless your child’s condition falls within the very narrow CDC guidelines for when vaccination is contraindicated, you could not obtain a medical exemption.
Please help us protect medical exemptions to vaccination by contacting your California state legislators today!
- Contact your California state legislators and ask them to OPPOSE S.B. 276. You can look up who represents you at: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov A sample script and talking points are below
- Sign this petition against SB276, and share it with your family and friends in California: https://avoiceforchoiceadvocacy.org/sb276-ab262-petition/
Online petitions like this one are useful for spreading the word and showing the scope of the opposition. But it’s not a substitute for contacting your legislators directly, and making sure they know that you, as a constituent, are deeply opposed to this bill. So please do Action Item 1 first!
Calls are more effective than emails, and only take a few minutes.
“Hi, my name is ____ and I am a constituent. I am calling to ask Senator ____ to OPPOSE S.B. 276, which would severely restrict medical exemptions to vaccination.
Medical exemptions are already very difficult to obtain. This bill is trying to make the process even more arduous.
The doctor-patient relationship must be protected. Only a doctor should be able to determine whether or not a child is medically contracted to vaccination.
An appointed official who has never examined my child should not be making medical decisions that carry the risk of serious injury and death. Adverse reactions are clearly listed on all vaccine manufacturer package inserts.
This bill also requires that medical exemptions be tracked in a government database, which creates potential HIPAA and FERPA privacy issues.
I urge Senator _____ to oppose S.B. 276.”
- You oppose any legislation that would restrict medical exemptions in California.
- When S.B. 277 passed in 2015, getting rid of philosophical and religious exemptions, lawmakers vowed to keep medical exemptions in place. Now lawmakers are trying to reduce the number of medical exemptions despite the fact that since the elimination of philosophical and religious exemptions, medical exemptions have only risen from 0.2 to 0.6 percent.
- Governor Brown explicitly supported medical exemptions when he signed S.B. 277. Now those protected exemptions are under attack.
- Our doctors know what is best for our children. S.B. 276 takes authority away from doctors and hands it over to the state. The state has never examined my child and knows nothing of my child’s medical history.
- S.B. 276 would require a child to have a severe reaction to each specific vaccine before they could be exempt from that specific vaccine. No sibling or family history or genetic predisposition would be allowed because those are not part of the CDC’s guidelines.
- Schools are required to protect the privacy of vaccine records as part of all student records under the federal law of FERPA, so an automated system to collect immunization records from the schools is in conflict with the principles of medical privacy.
- The US Supreme Court recognizes vaccines to be “unavoidably unsafe” and to cause injury and death in some recipients. The US Government has paid out more than $4 billion to the victims of vaccine injury. Hundreds of thousands have reported an adverse reaction to vaccination to VAERS. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/ensuringsafety/monitoring/vaers/
- Vaccine makers and the healthcare providers who administer them bear zero liability for vaccine injuries and deaths.
If you want to learn more about other vaccine bills being considered in California visit: The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) https://nvicadvocacy.org/members/Home.aspx