Hot Topics: Current Issues Affecting Members

ACCMA and CMA Physicians Show Support for Vaccine Bill in Sacramento

On Wednesday, April 24, hundreds of physicians, residents, and medical students, including ACCMA and CMA members, testified before the Senate Health Committee in support of SB 276. “This new legislation will close a loophole in the current law that has allowed a small handful of rogue doctors to skirt the spirit of the original law and has put millions of Californians at risk,” said Doctor David Aizuss, the CMA president. “All physicians must do their part to protect the health of children and the public at large.”

SB 276, authored by State Sen. Richard Pan, who is also a pediatrician, is a follow-up to Sen. Pan's law, SB 277, which passed in 2015. The earlier law outlawed personal belief exemptions from vaccinations. However, since the passing of SB 277, the number of children receiving medical exemptions from vaccines more than tripled. "We witnessed physicians who advertised exemptions for cash on social media and the internet," Pan said. "We'd see some parents post on social media that their child's regular physician refused to grant their child a medical exemption so they traveled to go purchase one from a distant physician." 

SB 276 aims to close the loophole, requiring the state health department to review all medical exemptions before approving or denying them. It would also create a database in order to track physicians who are issuing a disproportionate number of medical exemptions.

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