SB276 Bill Summary

SB276 Amended Bill Summary (6/17/19)

Original from A Voice For Choice website at http://avoiceforchoiceadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/AVCFA-SB276-amendment-summary.pdf

 If you have a vaccine medical exemption,
it remains valid until SB 276, if it is passed, takes effect.
This would be January, 2021, as SB 276 is currently written.

If this SB276 bill passes in California:

  1. All existing medical exemptions will need to be submitted for review.
  2. There are only 5 (or 4) reactions or counter indications that would qualify for a medical exemption, all as described by CDC.
  3. Any doctor who gives 5 or more medical exemptions in a calendar year will be flagged and reviewed.
  4. Families have until January 2021 to get the required vaccines, or home school or move out of the state.

Important to Note: The current bill wording still removes the doctor-patient relationship and puts a state bureaucrat, who will never interact with the patient, in charge of reviewing and revoking vaccine medical exemptions.

The bill now consists of:
1. A nine-point declaration about how good vaccines are and how important herd immunity is.

2. Vaccine medical exemptions written under SB 277 guidelines prior to the adoption of this new electronic form are to be submitted by the parents to CAIR in order to remain valid. The existing medical exemption letter will be submitted. These old vaccine medical exemptions will remain valid, BUT each local department of public health (CDPH) has the OPTION to review them (i.e. they are not required to but has the option to). If they find they don’t follow CDC/AAP criteria (family history and genetics are not included in their review), the local officer can submit them to the State public health officer and ask for it to be revoked. There is an exception that does require review but it references “paragraph (3) of subdivision (c)” which doesn’t exist in the bill, so it is unclear what they are referring to.

3. A new standardized electronic exemption form will be created by Jan 1, 2021 to input all medical exemption data into the California Immunization Registry (CAIR).

4. Beginning Jan 1, 2021 (or as soon as the new form becomes available) to a new system will be used. A doctor will see the patient in person and fill out the new form which will include the reasons for exemption, and a parental release of records to be sent to CDPH and the CA Medical Board. These exemptions should be written according to CDC/AAP criteria but can also be based on family history and genetics. If the doctor is not the child’s primary care physician (attestable by being their doctor for at least a year) the doctor will notify the primary care physician of the medical exemption. All such exemptions will be considered valid as long as they are not reviewed by a public health officer later.

5. Any exemptions reviewed and do not meet CDC/AAP criteria will be flagged and an immunization expert will contact the physician to get more information. “Other contraindications or precautions, including family history” may be considered. If this expert accepts the medical exemption it is further passed along to the State public health officer for final review and possible revocation at the officer’s discretion. If the medical exemption is revoked that doctor will be reported to the CA medical board.

6. If a local CDPH officer determines that a physician “poses a risk to public health” (undefined), CHDP will not accept any new electronic exemption forms from that physician for a period of at least two years, regardless of whether or not the doctor clears their name during that time. Any doctor who has a vaccine-related medical board case pending against them is not allowed to submit any new electronic medical exemption forms until the doctor wins their case. i.e. the doctor is guilty until proven innocent.

7. Local CDPH officers will conduct annual reviews of school immunization reports. For schools with immunization rates of less than 95%, the local public health officer will review all vaccine medical exemptions for that school, even if the cause for the low vaccination rates is something else.

8. If a physician submits five or more medical exemptions in a calendar year, exemptions from that physician will automatically be reviewed.

9. A CDPH officer may also review ANY exemptions in the electronic CAIR system at any time if necessary to protect public health.

10. There is an appeal process by a review panel of 3 physicians whose decision is then rubber stamped by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

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