STATEMENT: SB 276 - Immunizations: medical exemptions.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

As an Assemblywoman and as a mom, taking care of California’s kids is my number one priority.

The goal of SB 276 is to ensure that California students are vaccinated and protected from preventable, life-threatening diseases like measles, polio and whooping cough.

Over the last few months, I met with hundreds of constituents about this bill - both those who support it and those who do not. Some people have shared their concern that this law will make vaccines mandatory for all children - even for those who cannot receive vaccines for medical reasons. This is not the case.

This bill will protect California kids by:

- Ensuring community immunity

- Ensuring that children who need medical exemptions receive them

- Protecting children who cannot receive immunizations for medical reasons

The question as to whether or not a medical exemption is needed is one that should truly rely on the discretion of medical professionals and SB 276 allows for that necessary discretion. SB 276 strengthens the medical board’s review and establishes the necessary due process for any physician or family in California.

Physicians will continue to have the right to issue exemptions whenever there is a medical necessity. That is why this bill is supported by Orange County pediatricians, oncologists and immunologists.

It is vital that all of California’s communities maintain the necessary community immunity rates to protect medically vulnerable and immune-compromised individuals. The Governor and the California State Assembly and Senate have worked diligently to find a balance in SB 276 in order to ensure the safety of our communities.