Santa Barbara [CA] Moves to Axe Vaccine Medical Exemptions Already on File

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A showdown is fast approaching for California parents. The state is officially ground zero for this generation’s fight to retain health freedom. It matters little at this point whether we arrived here due to willful political ignorance, pharmaceutical lobbying/control or at the hands of a mainstream medical community that has lost its ethics and integrity. Lots of events have transpired since the battle to kill Senate Bill 277 — the pharmaceutical lobbied bill to force vaccines on kids in schools and daycares — was lost. With less than a month until SB277’s official July 1 start date, the Santa Barbara California Public Health Department decided to use color of law to potentially force vaccines upon children whose parents followed the rules and properly filed timely medical exemptions for their children’s 2016-2017 school year.

During public testimony before SB277’s signing, authors Senator Richard “Crazy Legs” Pan and Ben Allen promised the following points:

The medical exemption is entirely within the medical judgment of a physician.” – Richard “Crazy Legs” Pan

That’s something I’m very interested in [expanding the medical exemption]. One of the things we talked about it that there be a strong and robust medical exemption….they [parents] can go to a doctor, anywhere in the state [CA], and can get an exemption from that doctor.” -Ben Allen

Parents in Santa Barbara have now been left wondering why their original and only option for a medical exemption doesn’t fulfill SB277 and its author’s promises — bait and switch at its finest. The medical exemptions issued by California doctors for students attending school in the Santa Barbara Unified School District appear to not have stand alone authority any longer.

According to a letter circulating currently to school superintendents, principals and child care center directors in Santa Barbara, children’s medical exemptions already on file are now being sent to a newly initiated Medical Exemption Pilot Project. The letter — from the Santa Barbara Public Health Department — gives the following directives to its high level recipients:

fax all medical exemptions (permanent or temporary) submitted for the 2016-2017 school year to the Immunization Program. This will enable a comprehensive review of each exemption by the Health Officer and Immunization Program staff.

Parents who trusted their senators at their word and filed medical exemptions will now be left wondering if/when their child will be removed from school at the authority of the “newly initiated Medical Exemption Pilot Project.” The doctors who gave the medical exemptions aren’t off the hook either. The Public Health Department’s letter states that their purpose is to “identify any medical exemption not meeting SB277 criteria” and “provide helpful information to physicians issuing such exemptions.” In the real world — where targeting physicians for issuing medical exemptions for vaccination happens routinely — the wording of the Health Department’s letter could potentially mean that these physicians, once identified, can now be targeted. Why didn’t the Santa Barbara Public Health Department “provide helpful information to physicians issuing medical exemptions” and explain to them how to “meet SB277 criteria” over the past year? Surely it would have been easier to have sent a simple form to doctors describing how to “meet SB277 criteria.”  Since all doctors can issue medical exemptions, shouldn’t the Health Department provide “helpful information” to all doctors instead of just the small number who issued 2016-2017 exemptions?

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