Proposed bill would ban Anti-Vaccine Parents from Seeking Doctors that will give Medical Exemptions
Earlier this year, state Senator Richard Pan introduced Senate Bill 276 (SB 276), which would crack down on doctors issuing medical exemptions to anti-vaccine parents. Senator Pan believes that the practice of parents looking for a doctor to issue their children medical exemptions from receiving vaccines has increased since California adopted more rigid standards on mandatory vaccination. Senator Pan is a doctor and he has actually been one of the most vocal proponents of vaccinations in the Legislature. In 2015, he introduced Senate Bill 277, which passed and was signed by Governor Brown, requiring children to receive vaccines if they attend school, day care or development centers. Senator Pan stated the following when he introduced SB 276 on the Senate floor,
Some schools are reporting that more than 20 percent of their students have a medical exemption. It is clear that a small number of physicians are monetizing their exemption-granting authority and profiting from the sale of medical exemptions.
If SB 276 passes, it would further restrict vaccine exemptions by prohibiting doctors from giving them. Parents wishing to petition to allow their children to attend school without vaccines would instead have to ask the California Department of Public Health. A state vaccine medical exemption database will also be created by the bill and the state, along with county health officials, would be granted the authority to revoke exemptions based on fraudulence or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination guidelines. The proposed bill seems overbearing, but given the current struggle with outbreaks of measles, it seems necessary for public health reasons. According to the CDC, there have been 839 cases of measles reported in the United States this year as of May. We will have to wait and see if the SB 276 is passed.