In July, parents will be forced to allow their family doctors and nurses to inject their children with more than 40 doses of federally recommended vaccines.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 277, the most stringent vaccine mandate in the United States, on June 30, 2015. Families that don’t comply can’t exercise their state constitutional right to a free and appropriate education.
Petition Push in Petaluma
Debra Baretta, an opponent of SB 277 and Bay Area mother of three, was on the SRJC Petaluma campus in September 2015 urging students to sign a petition to allow Californians to vote on the vaccination mandate.
“My boys are 10, 12 and 16 years old. They rarely get sick and have never been vaccinated. It was my choice for them and now this bill is taking that choice away from me and parents all across California,” Baretta said. She said the petition needed a little over 36,000 signatures to stop the bill and put it to a vote.
The petition fell short of signatures and the deadline came and went, leaving concerned Californians baffled.
“I think the reason we didn’t get the signatures we needed is because most people believe their family doctor has their children’s best interest in mind,” Baretta said. “What they fail to understand is that most doctors receive very limited training in vaccinations.”
SB 277 Timeline
In January 2015, Disneyland officials confirmed a total of 45 cases of the measles in California, spawning a push to vaccinate.
In February, vaccine companies contributed over $90,000 to Senator Richard Pan, who received a position in the research department. Less than 90 days later, SB 277 was amended to bypass the appropriations committee and quickly taken to a vote on the senate floor.
SB 277, which eliminates state rights of religion and education, went from pen to vote in less than five months.
Due to the grandfather clause in the bill, children in second through sixth grade will not have to be vaccinated unless they transfer school districts, so a large number of students won’t be vaccinated under the new schedule. Pan reasoned the urgency in taking the bill straight to a vote was for the health of California’s children; over half of them won’t feel the needle pinch for another three to five years.
Future of SB 277
Some believe the bill is more about agenda than safety; all signs point towards that contention. It’s very difficult for me to believe Senator Pan, formerly an opponent of immunizations, had a humanitarian epiphany and became a fervent proponent of the new vaccination schedule without the influence of the top drug makers in this state. Pan and the other lawmakers received over $2 million in campaign contributions in from 2013-14.
Dr. Lynne R Mielke of Pleasanton stood before the senate on the day the committee voted and said, “I am deeply concerned about losing my freedoms and inherent right to make my own medical decisions and that of my child.”
SB 277 has eliminated the personal and religious belief exemptions that Californians already had on file with their respective schools and physicians.
The bill contains language referring to the addition of immunization records into financial aid folders for colleges in California.
“If you are attending any college in California and you need financial aid to ensure your education, these vaccination schedules must be met. If they are not, this will be noted in your scholarship schedule and financial aid portfolio,” Baretta said.
Depending on an individual’s genetic makeup, the downside of vaccinations may only be the sting of the needle. In rare cases it could mean permanent disability, stroke or possibly death.
Physiologically speaking, this is a dilemma that must be dealt with carefully and patiently to protect ourselves.
In January 2015, some children got sick at Disneyland. State government and big pharmaceutical businesses seized an opportunity, and as a result we have lost one of our precious rights as Californians: the right to choose.