Armed with ample facts about the science of vaccines and the importance of herd immunity, SB 276 (Pan) passed out of the Assembly Health Committee on a 9 to 6 vote. Thank you to all the CAFP Key Contacts who reached out to their legislators this week to provide accurate information on immunizations.
Special thanks to CAFP members Carly Grovhoug, MD and Erika Roshenraven, MD for being at the Capitol during the hearing and participating in a media campaign to counter vaccine misinformation.
Newly adopted amendments to the bill:
- Require the creation of an electronic, standardized, statewide medical exemption certification form that would be transmitted directly to the California Immunization Registry (CAIR).
- Prohibit physicians from charging for a medical exemption or an examination related to the renewal of a temporary medical exemption.
- Create a standardized system to monitor immunization levels in schools and institutions and to monitor patterns of unusually high exemption form submissions by a particular physician or medical practice.
- Task the Department of Public Health to review immunization reports from all schools and institutions to identify locations with an immunization rate of less than 95 percent, as well as physicians who have submitted five or more medical exemptions in a calendar year. If the department determines that a physician poses a risk to the public’s health, the department shall not accept a medical exemption form from the physician for least two years or until the physician demonstrates to the department that the risk no longer exists.
- Allow a medical exemption denial to be appealed by a parent or guardian. An independent expert review panel, consisting of three primary care physicians or immunization experts will evaluate appeals consistent with federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices guidelines and the relevant standard of care. The final decision of the Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency shall be consistent with the findings of the independent expert review panel and will not be subject to further administrative review.
If you might be interested in becoming a Key Contact, click here for more information or contact CAFP’s Director of Goverment Relations, Adam Francis.