Measles. It’s back. So is whooping cough. And so are a multitude of parents who do not want their children to be vaccinated or to be limited by rules restricting educational choices for unvaccinated minors. California is among the nation’s strictest of enforcing mandatory vaccines – children may not attend public or private school without them – unless given an exemption.
Enter Senate Bill 276 which originally intended to address the concern of doctors falsifying exemptions, introducing yet another curve ball, what is good reason not to have your child vaccinated? And who decides? Currently, not the Department of Public Health since doctors may sign off on exemptions without having to report to a higher authority, an autonomy SB 276 aspires to eliminate, although to do so has the added hindrance of making private medical records accessible to state agencies which conflicts with HIPAA.
As reports of measles outbreaks increase, so does awareness of concerns over the use of formaldehyde, mercury or aluminum in vaccines along with the increasingly wider audience mesmerized by celebrity-influenced health and medicine opinions. The Los Angeles Times writes the following:
The bill originally allowed for the health department to review and potentially reject any child’s medical exemption approved by a doctor. As now modified, SB 276 would allow for such reviews only at schools with immunization rates of less than 95% or for doctors who grant five or more medical exemptions in a year. A doctor would have to certify, under penalty of perjury, that the medical exemption is ‘true, accurate and complete.’ The bill is also less prescriptive on what medical conditions qualify for an exemption, including consideration of family medical history. The bill now requires that an exemption only ‘fall under the standard of care.’ In applying for a medical exemption, parents and doctors would have to agree to turn over a child’s medical record to prove skipping all or some shots is warranted.
The newly amended bill continues to raise controversy yet is expected to be pass.