CitationDelamater, Paul L.; Leslie, Timothy F.; & Yang, Y. Tony (2017). Change in Medical Exemptions from Immunization Elimination in California after Elimination of Personal Belief Exemptions. JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, 318(9), 863-864. PMCID: PMC5817463
AbstractCalifornia Senate bill (SB) 277 eliminated the personal belief exemption (PBE) provision from the state’s school-entry vaccine mandates prior to the 2016-2017 school year. Previously, vaccine-hesitant parents could acquire a PBE for their child based on philosophical or religious beliefs. Now, the only pathway for an unvaccinated kindergartener to enter a public or private school in California is with a medical exemption (ME), which requires a written statement from a licensed physician describing the medical reasons that immunization is unsafe.1 Previously, MEs were only granted to children with a contraindication to vaccination; however, SB 277 gave physicians broader discretion to grant MEs for reasons other than a contraindication, including family medical history. One concern voiced after the passage of SB 277 was whether vaccine-hesitant parents would seek MEs as replacements for PBEs and would find physicians willing to oblige them. We evaluated the statewide change in MEs in the first year under SB 277 and whether MEs increased in regions with high PBE use prior to its enactment.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleJAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association
Author(s)Delamater, Paul L.
Leslie, Timothy F.
Yang, Y. Tony