On April 24 the CDPH held a public meeting in Sacramento to present their proposed changes to the California Code of Regulations on school immunization requirements (Click here to read the proposed changes). The Code, which serves as the official set of instructions for all California schools, needs to be updated to match the requirements in the new CA Mandatory Vaccine Law. The public was allowed to submit comments about the changes, but the meeting wasn’t well publicized so very few were able to comment.

But there are three parts to the new law that the CDPH is ignoring so far – no hepatitis B vaccine requirements for 7th grade and up, no vaccine requirements at all for children with special needs, and medical indications for temporary exemption from vaccination.

1. The CDPH is mandating hep B vaccination for teenagers. But section 2 (c) of the SB 277 law states:

“full immunization against hepatitis B shall not be a condition by which the governing authority shall admit oradvance any pupil to the 7th grade level of any private or public elementary or secondary school.”

The proposed changes to the Code make no mention of this exception, and in fact state the very opposite on pages 10 and 11 of the Document by specifically requiring hep B vaccination for all children through 12th grade.

2. The CDPH is mandating more vaccination for already-vaccine-injured children with special needs. Section 2 (h) of SB 277 states:

“This section (meaning the new vaccine requirements) does not prohibit a pupil who qualifies for an Individualized Education Program from accessing any special education and related services.”

In other words, children with special needs are exempt from the vaccination requirements of the new vaccine law. But the new CDPH Code makes no mention of this allowance for kids with special needs, some of whom have those special needs because of vaccine injury, despite the fact that the CPDH currently has this statement on their school vaccination website: “Students who have an IEP should continue to receive all necessary services identified in their IEP regardless of their vaccination status.”

Watch the VIDEO of the State Assembly hearing where this very issue was settled in the law between lawyers, legislators, and the State Director for Special Education, Fred Balcom. But now the CDPH is refusing to put this exception into their code.

3. The CDPH is denying temporary medical exemptions for moderately-harmful vaccine reactions. Page 24 of the proposed Code states that a doctor’s temporary medical exemption from vaccines must state that:

“the pupil’s physical condition or medical circumstance is a temporary contraindication to the required immunizations.”

But the legislators very clearly and purposefully removed the word contraindication from the initial versions of the law because that word only excused children from further vaccines if they have suffered a near-fatal reaction or severe brain damage from vaccines. Instead, legislators wanted children who also suffered a potentially-harmful reaction (like seizures, moderate allergic reaction, temporary nerve damage, shock, etc) to also be exempt.

The CDPH is now trying to put that narrow word back into practice. You can read the original SB 277 bill text, Section 5 (a), in which the word “contraindicate” was replaced with “circumstances for which the physician does not recommend” immunization at the link here.  Click on Text, then select the version of the bill designated as Amended Assembly version 6/11/15 at the upper right hand corner of the page, and select Go.

In regards to permanent medical exemptions, the CDPH is sticking with the SB 277 law and not requiring a contraindication reason.

It is unknown at this time if the Health Department is purposely ignoring these sections of the new law in order to push more vaccines or if they simply just don’t notice these three critical parts of the law. The CDPH states that they announced these proposed changes seven weeks ago and wanted the public to comment. But shouldn’t the fact that nobody sent in any comments have alerted the department that the public was unaware or these proposed changes? Do they want us to be involved in this policy-making process or not? When they were met with silence, shouldn’t they have announced this proposal again and again so the public could assist them? Why try to keep this process so quiet?

You can still send comments to the Program Contact person, Amber Christiansen. Although the official time for public comments has expired, the webpage for this document states that you can still contact the CDPH with these and other concerns with the hope that they may listen:

Email: amber.christiansen@cdph.ca.gov – Put DPH 11-004 Immunizations Regulations in the Subject

Phone: (510) 620-3759