What Happened to the California Medical Board’s Concerns About SB 276 and Restricting Doctors Who Write Exemptions for Vaccines? Who Changed Their Minds?

During their quarterly meeting on August 8, 2019, The California Medical Board (CMB) surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, voted to support SB276, Senator Richard Pan’s medical exemption bill that places narrow restrictions on doctors’ abilities to write vaccine exemptions for school aged children. SB276 is not about vaccines, it is a bill regarding the exemption process required to fulfill California’s school vaccine mandate. The bill, in an unprecedented way, hands over the jurisdiction of reviewing and revoking the medical opinions of physicians from the CMB to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and California Department of Health and Human Services (CHHS). In May, when the Board previously voted to “Support SB276 in Concept” - the concept being that physicians writing fraudulent medical exemptions should be investigated - CMB Members raised a number of concerns on the bill. These concerns were not addressed by the most recent amendments to SB276, nor were they brought up for discussion at yesterday’s board meeting. So it is surprising that the CMB changed their position to Support SB276. What (or who) made them change their positions?

Medical Doctor: CA Mandatory Vaccination Bill Would Actually Harm Public Health

As a medical doctor, I am steadfastly against Senate Bill 276 because it is trying to fix a problem that does not exist. Vaccination rates for children in California are above levels for ”community immunity.” According to California Department of Public Health, 99.3 percent do not even have medical exemptions. Further, over 97 percent have received the MMR. The majority of measles outbreaks are from unvaccinated foreign travelers, and spread mostly by vaccinated adults. Not only is there no reason for this bill from a science or math perspective – which will cost taxpayers nearly $400 million as estimated by a PhD colleague who worked for Cal Department of Health’s Immunization Branch – this bill is catastrophic from a medical-legal perspective. SB276 states that a “state or local health clerk” or “designee” can “revoke” a medical exemption I’ve authored. Even worse than that, under SB276, the CDC guidelines are so narrow that reactions like paralysis, cardiac arrest, blindness, and seizures will no longer be considered as grounds for granting a medical exemption. In this new SB276 world, when a child dies from a medical decision forced upon them by government bureaucrats – a decision that went against the advice of the child’s actual MD – who is held accountable? SB276 is a liability nightmare in the making. “Local health clerks” and their state “designees” cannot and should not practice medicine and be authorized to contradict a trusted doctor’s medical judgments. SB276 hijacks the practice of medicine and gives it to the State, when there is no proof of fraudulent exemptions in the first place, resulting in a lack of trust in the entire medical profession. Bottom line: If the State doesn’t trust a doctor, who will?