“Why is the state forcing vaccinations on my children?” is the question I am asked by concerned parents every time I report on Sen. Richard Pan’s mandatory vaccination bills.
Gov. Gavin Newsom now says he is “inclined” to sign Pan’s current SB 276, which would make it nearly impossible for California parents to receive medical exemptions for the dozens of mandatory vaccinations for their children.
Notably, because of the pressure on legislators to support the bill, the too might ask, “Why am I being forced to support mandatory vaccinations on California’s children?”
Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) authored SB 276, under which doctors would no longer be allowed to sign-off on vaccine exemptions on their own; they would also need approval by state health clerks.
According to several of the opposition groups to SB 276, Gov. Newsom admits that the amendments he recommended were only regarding the difficulty of the bill’s implementation, and were “due to the council I received from my health and human services agency.” As the father of four young children, Newsom said he “doesn’t like abuse” and that he has friends who have “every right” to have an exemption, that there are some with “legitimate issues.” But the only reason he stated for being “inclined to support the bill” is as a response to Sen. Pan’s “generosity” in taking his implementation amendments.
Parental choice and decision making over childhood vaccinations was removed in California because of a state law passed in 2012. Assembly Bill 2109 by then-Assemblyman Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), orders that California school-aged children will not be allowed to attend public school without proof that parents have been counseled, and children vaccinated, in accordance with the vaccination schedule of the federal Center for Disease Control.
The only exception to the law was a personal belief or religious exemption – the only way Pan could get the bill passed.
But Sen. Pan has since authored bills removing all of the previous compromise agreements he made to pass AB 2109.
SB 276 would require the state health department to monitor doctors who grant five or more exemptions per calendar year, and exemptions of schools with an immunization rate of less than 95 percent.
I have been covering the legislated vaccine mandates by Sen. Richard Pan since 2012, when he first introduced AB 2109, and he and the media portrayed all opposed parents as anti-vaxers, when that was not the case. Nearly every parent I interviewed then and now merely wants the flexibility to make the vaccination decisions with their pediatricians, rather than be subjected to a state-mandated vaccine schedule.
Additionally, in 2012 when AB 2109 was going through the committee process, Pan admitted that because of the influx of illegal aliens, California children must be vaccinated, rather than the newly arrived folks.
In 2015, Sen. Pan introduced, pushed and passed SB 277, which states that any child on a “reduced” or delayed vaccine schedule will be barred from daycare, public, and private school. Many accused Richard Pan of going back on his word following passage of AB 2109.
“Initially motivated by the 2015 incident of measles among Disneyland visitors, Pan authored SB 277, which eliminated the personal belief exemption to vaccines,” GV Wire reported. “That led to an increase in medical exemptions, which made Pan suspicious.”
But the measles outbreak was a total 1,022 individual cases confirmed in 28 states, 51 of the cases in California – out of 40 million state residents, the New York Times confirms.
“That’s a Trojan Horse,” said Leigh Dundas, of the opposition group Advocates for Physicians’ Rights. “SB 276 is not about measles and school kids. The bill is hijacking the practice of medicine for trained physicians by placing that practice into the hands of state and local ‘health clerks’ and their designated agents who have no medical training,” thereby allowing these ‘clerks’ to overrule a doctors’ medical judgment and/or revoke their license.
Advocates for Physicians’ Rights is a California non-profit corporation set up to protect the rights of physicians and their patients. AFPR believes that the relationship between a doctor and patient is fundamentally both sacred and confidential. “We further believe that this basic tenet must remain intact in order to protect both the practitioner and the patient’s best interests.”
In “Doubts on SB 276 swirl after cryptic Newsom interview,” ord around the Capitol is that few lawmakers fully understand what this bill will do, but are being heavily pressured to support it. “It is an open ‘secret’ that Democrat Party leadership is ‘whipping’ this as an all-in ‘yes’ vote on a bill that ‘will pass,'” Lockwood wrote.
“It is telling that two co-authors of SB 277 from 2015, state Sen. Ben Allen, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, D-Van Nyus, remain vocal opponents of SB 276.”
“Further, it is being regularly reported by those lucky enough to be face-to-face with their lawmakers that many don’t even want to vote on this bill but feel immense pressure from their Democrat leadership and their big special interest fundraisers and donors to vote ‘yes,'” Lockwood added.
“This is not a black and white issue, and science changes,” Assemblyman Nazarian said at a June hearing. “This is overreaching… there is a better way of doing this.”
Dr. Bob Sears, a pediatrician in Orange County and vocal opponent of each of Sen. Pan’s bills, AB 2109, SB 277, and SB 276, has testified at the hearings of all of Pan’s bills, and again in June. In 2012, Sears testified: “The largest study done to date on this issue (Dismissing the family who refuses vaccines: A study of pediatrician attitudes, Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Oct. 2005) reveals that 39 percent of American pediatricians state they will dismiss patients from their office for non-compliance with vaccinations.”
Dr. Sears said at the June hearing that he has a very busy medical practice and charges the same amount for a medical exemption visit for his patients as he does for a regular office visit, pointing out that he does not charge more to profit from medical exemptions. Sears said in his practice if he sees a child with severe vaccination reactions: seizures, chronic eczema rash, which are not on the Center for Disease Control list of allowable exemptions under Sen. Pan’s SB 277, he decides whether or not more doses of the vaccination is appropriate, and/or if to space them out. “This bill would take all of my exemptions and negate years of medical care, legally done,” Sears said.
Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D-Marina Del Rey), does not support Pan’s bill. In one hearing, she spoke about her own daughter’s troubles with vaccinations and the resulting health injuries. She voted “no” on SB 276 warning that she’d go to jail before allowing the state to decide vaccinations for her vaccine-injured daughter.
In the 1960’s, children received only four vaccines: Smallpox, measles, polio and mumps vaccines. Now, children receive as many as 24 shots by 2 years of age and five shots in a single visit. Most children receive 49 vaccinations by the age of six, and more than 60 vaccinations from day of birth to age 18. Newborns receive eight routine vaccinations in accordance with the Center for Disease Control’s vaccine schedule, during the first 15 months of life:
Hep B: hepatitis B, a serious liver disease – 3 doses
DTaP: diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough) – 4 doses
Hib: haemophilus influenza type b – 4 doses
Polio: polio. This vaccine is given as a shot (inactivated vaccine called IPV) – 3 doses
MMR: measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles)
Chickenpox: Varicella zoster vaccine protects against chickenpox
Newborns must receive a hepatitis B vaccination shortly after birth before being discharged from the hospital, despite that they are not at risk for hepatitis B infection unless they are born to a mother infected with the hepatitis B virus or are given a blood transfusion that is contaminated with hepatitis B.
Women report they are routinely harassed if they refuse to consent to give their newborns the hepatitis B shot at birth. Many are threatened that child protective services will be contacted and they will be charged with child medical neglect or child abuse if they don’t vaccinate their newborn infant.
“According to Tina Kimmel, Ph.D., a research analyst for the California Department of Public Health, who spoke at a rally in Sacramento against SB 277, in 1991 when Hepatitis B was recommended by the CDC, medical doctors and policy makers were shocked and dismayed,” Oregonians for Medical Freedom reported in 2015 when SB 277 was being argued.
“Hepatitis B disease is spread in the US primarily through unsafe sex and intravenous drug use,” Kimmel said. “The disease was almost unknown among young, non-immigrant children in California…”
“At least nine states have stopped mandating the Hepatitis B vaccine for entrance into daycare,” Oregonians for Medical Freedom wrote in 2015. “Yet if SB 277 becomes law in California, parents may not choose to forgo the birth dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine.”
SB 276 has largely passed thus far along party lines. It is currently in Assembly Appropriations.
California’s ‘Brave New World’ will have follow up articles. The California Legislature is back from recess August 12.