Vaccine opponents in California appealed to another “Jen” today: Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of Gov. Gavin Newsom, in a desperate attempt to urge Mr. Newsom to veto bills restricting fraudulent vaccine exemptions.
The anti-vaxers lost the day to science with seven protesters arrested as of this afternoon, according to the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Newsom signed two bills related to vaccine exemptions. SB714 defines vaccine exemption checkpoints similar to those used when California phased out vaccine exemptions for personal or religious beliefs in 2015, and it also invalidates medical exemptions written by doctors who have faced disciplinary action, regardless of whether the punishment was related to immunizations.
Gov. Newsom also leveraged SB714 to make a few changes to its original form in exchange for signing SB276, which requires California’s Department of Public Health to make the final decision regarding whether underlying conditions claimed in a doctor’s medical exemption meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines. The additions to SB714 postpone enforcement to next year and remove a requirement for doctors to swear under penalty of perjury that they are not charging fees to complete forms or conduct related examinations.
The bills will not revoke legitimate medical exemptions.
From the Times story: A statewide survey in May by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California found 73% of adults believe parents should be required to vaccinate their children. The bills come amid the worst measles outbreak in more than 20 years, with more than 1,200 people diagnosed with the disease this year in the United States.