California Immunization Coalition Co-Sponsors Important Bill to Prevent Disease
Apr 09, 2012

The California Immunization Coalition (CIC) is proud to be a co-sponsor of AB 2109 (Pan) Vaccine Preventable Diseases along with the American Academy of Pediatrics – CA District, the California Medical Association, and the Health Officers Association of California which has the goal of improving vaccination rates and reducing the use of the personal belief exemption out of convenience in the state of California.

After speaking with the CIC, they explained that their main focus in on “reducing the number of exemptions by convenience with a goal of keeping our schools and our community safe for children”.

Their primary message on this bill is NOT that they want to stop families from obtaining a personal belief exemption.  This bill does not prevent a family from refusing one or more school entry vaccines. Rather, it introduces an “information step” into the process, which is accomplished by the family and a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant signing a simple form that indicates the parent received information on the benefits and risks of vaccines from that health care provider.  This information step was introduced based on the following considerations:

  • Parents deserve to have reliable information to support the healthcare decisions they make for their family.
  • Children who are exempted from vaccines are at significant risk for diseases.
  • It’s important that the state ensure that requests for exemptions from immunization are based on conviction, not convenience.

You will find the AB 2109 Fact Sheet here and the current text of bill here where you can also subscribe to bill updates.
AB 2109 is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday April 17. Your personal letter of support will make a tremendous difference in this effort, so you are encouraged to contact the Assembly Members today, particularly if they are on the Assembly Health Committee. (See the list here.) Advocacy efforts may occur in person, via  phone call, fax (preferred) or email to the local office of the legislator.  Templates to assist you in creating a letter to be sent can be found here.  Please also send a copy of your letter of support to Assembly Member Richard Pan (Fax 916.319.2105) and let the California Immunization Coalition know if you make any contacts and how they go.
If you run into questions from legislators or staff that you are not comfortable answering, please let them know that you will have your colleague at the California Immunization Coalition give them a call.  Legislators prefer to hear from local constituents on this issue and they have been hearing from people against this bill already.
Your voice and support for AB 2109 is vital.  Letters to the Assembly Health Committee must be in by 5pm Tuesday!  
Will you take action to help protect the children in California?   

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