California Senate approves mandatory vaccination bill

http://www.npr.org/2015/04/22/401540514/california-senate-committee-approves-bill-removing-vaccine-exemptions NPR's Melissa Block talks to Dr. Matthew Willis, the public health officer in Marin County, Calif., one of the strongest centers of vaccine opposition. He talks about the state Senate education committee's approval of a bill Wednesday that would require schoolchildren to be vaccinated.
http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article19227906.html Legislation requiring vaccinations for nearly all California school children revived on Wednesday, winning the approval of a Senate committee that a week earlier looked poised to reject the measure. Amendments giving non-vaccinated children more educational options beyond traditional schooling generated enough support to push Senate Bill 277 out of the Senate Education Committee on a 7-2 vote. The bill heads now to the Senate Judiciary committee, the next step in a potentially long odyssey winding through several committees and floor votes in both the Assembly and Senate. Every Democrat on the Judiciary Committee is either a co-sponsor of the bill or has voted for it. … While proponents frame SB 277 as a public health measure needed to protect Californians who are too young or sick to be immunized against diseases like measles and whooping cough, the bill faltered last week under questions about whether unvaccinated children could still exercise their constitutional right to an education. SB 277 would preserve medical exemptions but nix a broad personal belief exemption, prompting many parents to threaten to pull their children from school. In the meantime, Allen of Santa Monica and Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento crafted amendments to placate skeptics. The changes expand the home schooling and independent study options available to children who are not vaccinated and therefore cannot attend conventional public or private schools. …

Thanks for posting. Maybe some good will come form the measles outbreak. I hate to think we are going to have to go through this every few decades to convince new parents of the importance of vaccines.

I’ve been advocating for this among the community at my daughter’s school. We have the lowest vaccine compliance rate in our district at 84% (still a large majority, of course, but less than needed for effective herd immunity for most major infectious diseases). All the classic hallmarks of pseudoscientific reasoning are showing up in the online discussion, from Big Pharma conspiracy fantasies, to claims that it is arrogant for me to challenge anti-vaccine beliefs while the same individuals fail to see the arrogance of believing their Google research justifies ignoring the opinions of doctors and public health officials. I cite CDC, WHO, AAP and in refutation they cite anti-vaccine parent groups and libertarian bloggers, and then they feel like hey have made a legitimate evidence-based case. Insane and frustrating!

I've been advocating for this among the community at my daughter's school. We have the lowest vaccine compliance rate in our district at 84% (still a large majority, of course, but less than needed for effective herd immunity for most major infectious diseases). All the classic hallmarks of pseudoscientific reasoning are showing up in the online discussion, from Big Pharma conspiracy fantasies, to claims that it is arrogant for me to challenge anti-vaccine beliefs while the same individuals fail to see the arrogance of believing their Google research justifies ignoring the opinions of doctors and public health officials. I cite CDC, WHO, AAP and in refutation they cite anti-vaccine parent groups and libertarian bloggers, and then they feel like hey have made a legitimate evidence-based case. Insane and frustrating!
Living in NY we have not had to deal with this in our local school. There are anti-vaxxers here but they are a tiny minority. I can only imagine how frustrating it is from the experience I occasionally run in to with some of my patients. No and then I come across someone who has fallen into the same online antivax belief system. I've created a page on my web site where I have tried to aggregate a number of resources that are helpful in this battle along with my own material explaining the most common adult vaccines. There are several videos I link to on there that have been very persuasive for patients. One is the Nova documentary "Vaccine- Calling the Shots" which was well done and the other is the two part Kahn Academy class which goes over the origin of the vaccine controversy in a very understandable way. If it would be any help you can take a look here: www.doctormelgar.com/vaccines. I realize your own web site is geared more towards veterinary medicine but it might be helpful to aggregate some of this stuff on a page that you could refer local parents to, especially those who seem unsure of where they stand. Best of luck. Keep up the good fight.

Thanks, great site. I’d pick you as my doctor! :slight_smile:
HERE] is some info I’ve gathered on my blog to support the bill.

Thanks, great site. I'd pick you as my doctor! :-) HERE] is some info I've gathered on my blog to support the bill.
Great job. I'm not totally sold though. I think you need a few more sources ;-)
http://www.npr.org/2015/04/22/401540514/california-senate-committee-approves-bill-removing-vaccine-exemptions NPR's Melissa Block talks to Dr. Matthew Willis, the public health officer in Marin County, Calif., one of the strongest centers of vaccine opposition. He talks about the state Senate education committee's approval of a bill Wednesday that would require schoolchildren to be vaccinated.
http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article19227906.html Legislation requiring vaccinations for nearly all California school children revived on Wednesday, winning the approval of a Senate committee that a week earlier looked poised to reject the measure. Amendments giving non-vaccinated children more educational options beyond traditional schooling generated enough support to push Senate Bill 277 out of the Senate Education Committee on a 7-2 vote. The bill heads now to the Senate Judiciary committee, the next step in a potentially long odyssey winding through several committees and floor votes in both the Assembly and Senate. Every Democrat on the Judiciary Committee is either a co-sponsor of the bill or has voted for it. … While proponents frame SB 277 as a public health measure needed to protect Californians who are too young or sick to be immunized against diseases like measles and whooping cough, the bill faltered last week under questions about whether unvaccinated children could still exercise their constitutional right to an education. SB 277 would preserve medical exemptions but nix a broad personal belief exemption, prompting many parents to threaten to pull their children from school. In the meantime, Allen of Santa Monica and Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento crafted amendments to placate skeptics. The changes expand the home schooling and independent study options available to children who are not vaccinated and therefore cannot attend conventional public or private schools. …
Since when does parents choosing to pull their children out of public school constitute a failure of the state to provide a constitutional right to an education? Can someone explain this to me? Lois

I’ve also started a petition on Change.org] to counter the opponents’ petition. Not sure how much influence it has, but thought it worth a try. Feel free to sign! :slight_smile:

Just to update everyone, this bill has now passed both houses of the state legislature and only needs the governor’s signature to go into effect. Previously, our governor signed a similar bill but added a “signing statement” to it which restored the exemption based on religious beliefs. There is intense lobbying going on now, and here’s hoping he doesn’t change this law…

Shouldn’t we relabel this “Hobby Lobbying”? After all They were at the forefront of the religious exemption movement. Citing the first Amendment as the shield against ACA, it now extends to any fundie fringe group believing that vaccines are unnatural tools of the Devil (i.e. The Government!!!) thus joining with other ultra religious cults such as Boko Haram and ISIS. We can only hope that California sets a precedent by enforcing vaccinations, especially for school age children not only to protect them but the rest of us as well. After all, the Constitution also protects the rights of the sane!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-conn/measles-hobby-lobby-and-t_b_6643996.html
Cap’t Jack

It will be interesting to see what happens. Politicians are not generally known for making decisions that aren’t self serving and in line with the politics of their party. Anti-vaxxers have become the anti-science wing of the democratic party, so it will be interesting to see how Brown (a democrat) handles a policy which is supported by the electorate but not necessarily by a small but vocal segment of his party.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signs new vaccination law, one of nation's toughest By PHIL WILLON AND MELANIE MASON California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed one of the nation’s toughest mandatory childhood vaccination bills, moving to end exemptions from state immunization laws based on religious or other personal beliefs. The legislation, which passed the Senate on Monday and the Assembly on Thursday, would require more children who enter school, or day care, to be vaccinated against diseases such as measles and whooping cough. The bill, one of the most controversial measures before the Legislature this year, was introduced because of concern about low vaccination rates in some communities and an outbreak of measles at Disneyland that ultimately infected more than 150 people. Those with medical conditions such as allergies and immune-system deficiencies, confirmed by a physician, would be excused from immunization. And parents could still decline to vaccinate children who attend private home-based schools or public independent studies off campus. "The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases," Brown said in a statement released Tuesday. {http://gov.ca.gov/docs/SB_277_Signing_Message.pdf} "While it's true that no medical intervention is without risk, the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects the community." … continue article at http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-ln-governor-signs-tough-new-vaccination-law-20150630-story.html

Californians (and other vaccine fools) can always move to a non-white state on this map. Mississippi or West Virginia are white states. California will be a white state soon. Texas and Arkansas look like good options for anyone who feels put upon.
Check the map here:
https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/blog/2015/02/a-look-at-state-vaccine-policies

Californians (and other vaccine fools) can always move to a non-white state on this map. Mississippi or West Virginia are white states. California will be a white state soon. Texas and Arkansas look like good options for anyone who feels put upon. Check the map here: https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/blog/2015/02/a-look-at-state-vaccine-policies
Remember also Lois that even though a state is colored with anti-vax restrictions, there are areas within them where childhood vaccinations are mandatory, e.g. our area. Our school district and those in Wv. nearest us require vaccinations before a child may enter the school system. The pediatricians here strongly recommend immunization. Cap't Jack
Californians (and other vaccine fools) can always move to a non-white state on this map. Mississippi or West Virginia are white states. California will be a white state soon. Texas and Arkansas look like good options for anyone who feels put upon. Check the map here: https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/blog/2015/02/a-look-at-state-vaccine-policies
Remember also Lois that even though a state is colored with anti-vax restrictions, there are areas within them where childhood vaccinations are mandatory, e.g. our area. Our school district and those in Wv. nearest us require vaccinations before a child may enter the school system. The pediatricians here strongly recommend immunization. Cap't Jack
I'm not sure that "areas within states" where vaccinations are mandatory will do the trick. it's a step in the right direction, but not enough. Lois
I’m not sure that “areas within states" where vaccinations are mandatory will do the trick. it’s a step in the right direction, but not enough.
True but I'm banking on the California decision to start waking the general public up to the potential harm they may inflict on their children despite what "Dr."Jim Carey says! Meantime, our grandchildren and their friends are protected. Cap't Jack

IN a similar vein I was listening to last weeks FFRF podcast] about religious exemptions for medical treatment of children and had no idea that so many states essentially allow parents to substitute prayer for appropriate medical care for children right up to and through the point of death with no legal repercussion what so ever. It varies from state to state but even in some very liberal states Christian Scientists can literally allow their children to die from an illness that standard medical treatment would have cured and there is no protection for the child or punishment of the parents.
It never ceases to amaze me the length that religious zealots will go to in order to protect their beliefs, but it also demonstrates the need for limits on parental rights when it comes to making decisions for their children

IN a similar vein I was listening to last weeks FFRF podcast] about religious exemptions for medical treatment of children and had no idea that so many states essentially allow parents to substitute prayer for appropriate medical care for children right up to and through the point of death with no legal repercussion what so ever. It varies from state to state but even in some very liberal states Christian Scientists can literally allow their children to die from an illness that standard medical treatment would have cured and there is no protection for the child or punishment of the parents. It never ceases to amaze me the length that religious zealots will go to in order to protect their beliefs, but it also demonstrates the need for limits on parental rights when it comes to making decisions for their children
First I agree that children's rights for medical treatment need to be protected, but where, on the spectrum of parents rights and responsibilities and an outside authorities rights and responsibilities, do you draw the line? Right now it seems to be too much in favor of the parents, but that is only a problem when the parents are ignorant of reality. If the parent is well informed and reasonable, the child gets sick and they call a doctor. It is only the uninformed and ignorant that believe they can "pray" the illness away, and these are the victims of those who would mislead them for profit.

There is one thing that will happen. Medical exemptions are permitted. That means there will be a groundswell of “doctors” and pseudo doctors who will be selling medical exemptions to the highest bidders, especially in California… Just watch.
Lois

There is one thing that will happen. Medical exemptions are permitted. That means there will be a groundswell of "doctors" and pseudo doctors who will be selling medical exemptions to the highest bidders, especially in California.. Just watch. Lois
The law (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/15-16/bill/sen/sb_0251-0300/sb_277_bill_20150219_introduced.html) does not seem to specify the required credentials of the person authorizing the medical exemption. That could be an unfortunate loop hole if it allows chiropractors and Naturopaths to give exemptions since they know nothing about any of the medical conditions that would justify such an exemption.