If your child has a medical exemption for vaccinations on file, be sure to have an Objection to Disclosure of Student Records letter, or one similar, in your child’s school file so your child’s medical records are not shared with anyone outside the school.
Santa Barbara County Department of Public Health (SBCPHD) recently created a Medical Exemption Pilot Program (MEPP) which has requested schools send in the Medical Exemptions submitted by parents to schools in that district. Click here to read the SBCPHD MEPP Letter.
A Voice for Choice Advocacy (AVFCA) Objected to this program and asked them to immediately stop and withdraw it. Click here to read the AVFC Letter of Objection to MEPP sent to the Santa Barbara Debarment of Public Health. A Voice for Choice Advocacy firmly believes that the reason for this program was to collect doctor information so that those doctors writing Medical Exemptions could be targeted.
Greg Glaser, Attorney also send a letter outlining the legal ramifications of their program. Click here to read Greg Glaser’s Letter to SBCPHD. As a result, the Santa Barbara County Department of Public Health updated their policy, requesting the children’s personal information to be redacted. Click her to see revised letter from SBCDPH. However, this does not address AVFCA’s concern of the transference of doctor information.
In order to determine if other counties were doing the same and if there was any documentation regarding the collection of doctor information, AVFCA sent a Public Records Act Request to all County Health Departments requesting any documentation related to a Medical Exemption program. Through this we found out that Sacramento Department of Public Health (Senator Pan, the author of SB277’s district) and Marin Department of Public Health (where Rhett Krawitt, the pro-SB277 cancer patient poster child whose father supposedly instigated SB277 lives) are doing the same, also with redacted information. Click here to see documentation regarding Sacramento County MEPP PRA Response Sacramento’s County’s Immunization policy and Marin’s MEPP survey they are requesting schools to complete.
AVFCA also was sent a copy of an email regarding a meeting for all County Health Department Directors that was requested by Charity Dean (Santa Barbara’s Public Health Department’s Assistant Director and mentee of Sentator Pan) to discuss with the California Medical Board “suspicious medical exemptions”. This document confirms the real purpose of the Medical Exemption Pilot Program to be collecting doctor information so that those doctors can be reported and questioned. Click here to read the teleconference request email. Note: SB277 puts the vaccine medical exemptions at the sole discretion of the physician. This is underscored in Governor Brown’s signing statement of SB277.
The information that A Voice for Choice Advocacy gleaned from these Public Records Act requests is now being used as part of a lawsuit against SB277. Click here to read the July 12th, 2016 Amended Complaint.
Other news and information on the Medical Exemption Pilot Program:
Bolen Report: SB 277 Preliminary Injunction Reason – Health Department Leader Wants to Bite Doctors That Write Vaccine Medical Exemptions…