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Should It Be Harder to Get Vaccination Exemptions?

The Marin County Board of Supervisors throws its support behind a state bill to require parents to get a letter from their pediatrician before they can receive a “personal belief exemption.”

The Marin County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to back a state Assembly bill that would make it more difficult for parents to obtain a “personal belief exemption” for state vaccination requirements for school entry.

The bill, AB 2109, was introduced by Assemblyman Richard Pan, who represents the 5th District north of Sacramento. The bill requires parents seeking the exemption to submit a document signed by a pediatrician or healthcare professional stating that he or she informed the parent about the risks of not immunizing the child. While state law requires kindergartners to be vaccinated for diseases like pertussis (whooping cough) before they can attend school, parents who object to the vaccination often cite the personal belief exemption for their refusal to allow their children to be vaccinated. The Assembly passed the AB 2109 in early May and it is currently at the committee level in the state Senate.

“The personal belief exemption has been the default position of parents who haven’t gotten their kids vaccinated and we really want to make sure that every child in Marin has the benefit of a vaccine for a vaccine-preventable disease,” said Larry Meredith, the director of the county’s Health and Human Services department.

The vaccination debate came to a head in 2010, when county health officials and and lack of education for a . The TDAP vaccine against whooping cough is free of the additive thimerosal, a preservative containing mercury that has been the subject of a long-running public debate about whether it can cause autism. A federal ruling in March 2010 said there was no connection between autism and thimerosal.

“There is no evidence that there are any problems with vaccines,” Meredith said, noting that while there may be other reasons for parents to seek exemptions, they can simply do so by going through their pediatrician.

Vaccines have long been a hot button issue in Marin, where the exemption rate is significantly higher than it is statewide. In 2011, the exemption rate in Marin was 6.8 percent, down from 7.1 percent in 2009 and 2010 but up from 4.2 percent in 2005. Marin’s rate was the 13th highest in the state and significantly higher than the California rate of 2.4 percent (see charts at right).

In Mill Valley, half of the local schools with kindergarten classes have rates significantly higher than the rest of Marin, with the at a whopping 79 percent exemption rate. See the list below for all eight schools and their exemption rates in 2011.

 

School Personal Belief Exemption Rate 79 percent 4 percent 0 percent 11 percent 10 percent 20 percent 7 percent 7 percent Source: Marin County Dept. of Health
Michael Bigelow June 20, 2012 at 03:35 PM
I think that this is a start. While I personally don't believe in the personal belief exemption, this will at least bring back an informed discussion to the decision.
Oscar Rivers June 20, 2012 at 05:56 PM
4 in 5 kids at Greenwood School are not vaccinated?? 1 in 5 at Park? What's wrong with those parents? In order to get an exemption, parents should first be required to spend time in clinics where kids with those preventable diseases are being treated. They should also be required to inform anyone who comes into regular contact with their kid, like teachers, coaches & friends, that their child is not vaccinated.
Michael Lubenow June 20, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Willfully misinformed people hack me off!!
Rico June 22, 2012 at 12:54 AM
So, with the 79 percent exemption rate at Greenwood school, are the kids more healthy because of it ? I think it should be a choice made by the parents of children in institutions (schools). If they risk sending their children to be institutionalized, and don't like what the dictators do, then maybe they should pull their kids out of schools that trample individual rights, especially when it comes to vaccines. Home school them !
MV Resident June 22, 2012 at 01:12 AM
A reintroduction of smallpox into Marin County sounds like a great way to cull the population.
leslie reiber June 22, 2012 at 03:32 AM
California schools should be required to inform all parents yearly of the vaccination rates at the schools their children attend. Parents should have the informed choice to transfer their children out of schools where the presence of a large number of unvaccinated students increases the risk of outbreaks of preventable diseases.
MV Resident June 22, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Leslie - I agree. But I would also take it a step further. If you don't want to vaccinate your kids, maybe that should be your perogative (i.e. I don't like the idea of the government forcing people to injest something into their body). But that choice should come at the cost of not participating in our public schools (and arguably our society). Public schools exist for the public good - just as vaccines do. If someone wants to ignore medical science and put their kids (and others) at risk, they should not be allowed into public schools. So if private school Greenwood wants to live in the dark ages and allow 79% of their families to put their kids at risk, I suppose that is their individual right. (but better yet they should probably be homeschooling their kids in quarantine). Now there is a second issue of whether eschewing medical science is child abuse....or being home schooled by those who would is.....but that's a different discussion I suppose. But I should be able to send my kids to public school without the risk of being exposed to easily preventable infectious disease.
SR resident June 22, 2012 at 03:44 PM
The common cold is easily prevented through basic hygiene, but the government isn't mandating that everyone wash their hands before coming to school. These responses are just vicious, people.
Oscar Rivers June 22, 2012 at 04:10 PM
You cannot compare the common cold to polio, measles, mumps, diphtheria, whooping cough, and so forth. You only need to spend 5 minutes with a child afflicted by those preventable diseases, or their after effects, to understand the difference. Vaccines like DTaP are likely the most widely distributed & tested medicines in the world, and they are among the safest. I'm sorry if you feel it's vicious, but it's plain crazy not to give a child, and the people they come into regular contact with, the enormous benefit of vaccines.
Michael Lubenow June 22, 2012 at 05:39 PM
The common cold doesn't kill people. Pertussis is blamed for almost 300,000 deaths EVERY YEAR. Show me a quarter of a million cases of vaccine-induced autism. Show me half a million parents who prefer their child dead to autistic.
Rico June 22, 2012 at 08:39 PM
The reason that public schools and other public places are more risky is because of people being herded together and closed loop HVAC systems. One person gets sick, goes to school or work, rides on public transportation and infects many more. A child who is home schooled would not be as exposed as a child going to a public school, they are not the ones that need to be in quarantine Now, armed with this information about Greenwood school, it is up to the parents to decide if they want their kids to attend Greenwood. The next report should be the statistics of how many kids get sick at Greenwood versus other schools with higher vaccination rates. It probably would'nt be much different, but then there goes the profits from vaccinating kids, so those results or studies will never be released to the public. How about if someone who has a child attending Greenwood chime in and let us know, thanks.
Dave June 24, 2012 at 03:53 AM
http://www.naturalnews.com/036255_mmr_autism_court_case.html Vaccines are a medically unnecessary procedure. Among the many health reasons not to inject the filth of ingredients and 65 times the allowed toxicity level of aluminum in certain vaccines...let's say someone opposes a vaccine due to personal beliefs for say, the fact that vaccines contain aborted fetal tissue. What right does the state have to force parents to pay hundreds of dollars in doctor visits just to get a form signed? It's bull poop. Seriously! Vaccines do have side effects, do kill people, etc. My cousins child nearly died and spent 2 months in the hospital from an adverse reaction to a vaccine a few years ago. There is so much not to like about vaccines. People need to stop being such sheep and do a bit of research. All the vaccine lovers are prob the same ones who believe in genital mutilation. And yes, I'm talking about circumcision. Do some research on that too! It's for Jews only for religious purposes. And don't give me the garbage about keeping it clean and being unsanitary. Why not cut off your hand then too since it carries so many germs? Followers =(
Dave June 24, 2012 at 03:55 AM
In other words, why should one have to get permission to opt out of a medically unnecessary procedure?
Dave June 24, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Amen!!!
Dave June 24, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Hey Leslie. Vehicle accidents kill 50k people a year in this country. By driving a vehicle, you are being irresponsible, taking an unnecessary risk that you are more likely to die from than any of the diseases that are vaccinated against. We should all stop driving!!! Obesity is now classified as a disease. It's "unfair" that people who are obese are cared for by taxpayers in our society right? So, we should make them go see a doctor and pay a office visit fee in order to get a letter before they can purchase fast food right?
Michael Lubenow June 24, 2012 at 04:50 AM
Ignorance hacks me off too
Michael Lubenow June 24, 2012 at 04:55 AM
Reminds me of the latest from s#$tmydadsays: "No. You don't read news. You read stuff you agree with. Just because somebody's bull poop smells like yours, doesn't mean it's not still bull poop."
Sylvia June 24, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Some of the comments here are so off base it is scary. Vaccines are deemed by the U.S. Justice System as "unavoidably unsafe", which means even when used correctly, some will be harmed or killed by them. The vaccine schedule has more than tripled in the last 20 years. Vaccine makers and the people who give them are IMMUNE from liability. You cannot sue them, no matter what. You have to appeal to a government tribunal, which is not a court of law. Most vaccine injured people are turned away, but still the program has paid out over 2 BILLION dollars is damages. If a parent objects to even ONE of the 48 vaccines requred by Kindergarten, they have to use an exemption. This law is meant to intimidate and coerce parents into compliance of all vaccines. It is an assualt of the very fundamental rights of parents. I
Sylvia June 24, 2012 at 04:35 PM
That is the point, the pro-vax crowd does not what anyone doing their own research. They don't want you to look behind the curtain. Keep in line, do as we say. Do not object. The general public has no idea just how many of us there are, how many of our loved ones are either dead or disabled because of vaccination. These are the unpleasant facts they don't want you to know.
Sylvia June 24, 2012 at 04:46 PM
What about requiring parents to spend time with people with severe brain injury that resulted from vaccine induced encephalopathy? Or the graves of kids who died from a vaccine? Last year there were 10 deaths from Pertussis in the U.S., and there were 954 deaths from the Pertussis vaccine. And when you look closer at the so-called Pertussis epidemic in California, the truth of the matter is that over 80 percent of those with Pertussis were FULLY vaccinated, and another 10 percent had most of the required Pertussis vaccines (they were missing one or two). Less than ten percent of those with Pertussis were not vaccinated at all. So the vaccine doesn't work, but carries HUGE risks. The reason most people don't know the other side of story is because the same people - Public Health, Medical Associations and BigPharma are in charge of promoting vaccines. They are not going to tell you the risks and problems. And that is incredibly bad for the consumer/patient. Our only defense is access to exemptions. Which is what this bill is trying to stop.
Sylvia June 24, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Have you had 50 vaccinations lately? No? Then you better stay home.
Dave June 24, 2012 at 06:49 PM
http://therefusers.com/refusers-newsroom/merck-is-sued-by-former-virologist-employees-for-deliberately-falsifying-mumps-vaccine-efficacy-studies/ ^^^More PROOF that you can't trust the drug companies, or the gov't pawns that their lobbyists are in bed with in order to advance their agenda. There are studies linking autism to vaccines...In the US, if you have a boy, he has a 1 in 38 chance of being autistic. This is a major deal people! And all in the name of preventing disease. Shamefully, some of these diseases are so minute, that more people die from complications due to the vacinnes than the disease itself. I home school my children, I don't travel out of the country or into areas that may be contaminated. Yet if there was ever an outbreak, I would quarantine my kids to protect them and or others. And I would consider a vaccination if the risk merited it. But I can't in good faith believe nearly anyone advocating vaccines in the medical profession when their very livelihood as a pediatrician depends on the revenue they receive from administering vaccines.
Dave June 24, 2012 at 06:49 PM
(Cont.) It is absolutely imperative that people do outside research, not believe the gov't, FDA, CDC, AMA, or big pharma regarding vaccine safety. The more this issue is looked into, the more ominous the signs are that health is not a priority. Even worse, making money at the expense of the health of our children has become the norm. FDA approval of questionable drugs, ingredients that they themselves list as neuro-toxins such as thimerisol, and aluminum, etc. Man, it's just sickening. If you don't yet believe in conspriacy theories...you better start now. I'm surprised some of you can still see considering the thickness of the shroud of wool over your eyes.
Sylvia June 24, 2012 at 06:51 PM
300,000 deaths every year from Pertussis? Where? And autism is a big risk factor for death. Chidren with autism are found floating face down in swimming pools and lakes, they are abused in schools and institution, they often run into traffic because they do not realize danger.
Oscar Rivers June 25, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Dave, approximately how many jars of preserved vegetables do you keep in your apocalypse shelter?
Lowell Hubbs June 28, 2012 at 12:14 AM
The Myths of Vaccine Derived Herd Immunity http://www.vacfacts.info/the-myths-of-vaccine-deriv/ Facts and Unbiased Science Regarding Alluminum Vaccine Adjuvants http://www.vacfacts.info/facts-about-vaccine-aluminum-a/ Lack of Aluminum Adjuvant Safety Data, (straight from the CDC documents) http://www.vacfacts.info/aluminum-vaccine-adjuvant-fa/ Scientific proof that the known cancer causing SV40 virus, a previous contaminant in the polio vaccine, is obviously either contagious; or the virus is still in the vaccines. http://www.vacfacts.info/scientific-proof-that-sv40-i/ Vaccine Caused Ischemia Hypoxia http://www.vacfacts.info/vaccine-caused-ischemiahypoxia/
Michael Lubenow June 28, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Way to self promote Lowell! I like this site better though: http://lowellhubbs.blogspot.com/ Like I said before (kind of), if you only read/cite people you agree with it is not research. I'm sure there are dozens of websites labeling people who apply for a “personal belief exemption” sociopathic idiots who should homeschool their children in rural Montana. That doesn't make it any truer than I think it is. Keep your foil hat to yourself
Michael Lubenow June 28, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Wow! http://lowellhubbs.blogspot.com/2012/05/review-revisit-recap.html
Oscar Rivers July 17, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Something the anti-vaccine geniuses share with the Taliban: http://bit.ly/MEAGH3 If the Taliban are doing it, it must be good, right?

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