Most of us were busy preparing our student enrollment/registration packets this week so that our children can continue learning at our wonderful school. One new part of registration this year is implementation of the updated vaccination requirements. Last June, Gov. Brown signed Senate Bill 277 into law and it takes affect on July 1st 2016. SB 277 eliminates the personal-belief exemption so that all medically eligible children are immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases. The goal is to provide the highest level of protection possible for all vulnerable children in California. PUSD is following the law. Here are some details:
- Personal beliefs exemptions (PBEs) filed at a school or child-care facility before January 1, 2016 will remain valid until the student enrolls in the next grade span, typically at kindergarten (or transitional kindergarten) or 7th grade.
- Only a licensed Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) may provide a medical exemption.
- Exemptions are available for students who are enrolled in homeschooling or independent study without classroom instruction.
- IEP required special education and related services are enrolled regardless of vaccination status.
- The California Department of Public Health, Immunization Branch has an excellent reference website, http://www.shotsforschool.org/k-12/ (general summary below).
|Students Admitted at Ages 4-6 years||Students Admitted at Ages 7-17 Years|
|· Diphtheria,Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP, DTP, or DT) —5 doses||· Diphtheria,Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP, DTP, DT, Tdap, or Td)—4 doses|
|· Polio (OPV or IPV)—4 doses||· Polio (OPV or IPV)—4 doses|
|· Hepatitis B—3 doses||· Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)—1 dose (2 doses required at 7th grade)|
|· Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)—2 doses||· Varicella (chickenpox)|
|· Varicella (Chickenpox)—1 dose||· Tetanus, Diphtheria,and Pertussis (Tdap) —1 dose at 7th grade or out-of-state transfer admission at 8th–12th grades|
*Note that this required schedule only includes 6 out of the 12 vaccines recommended by the CDC vaccination schedule.
It is unlikely that any legal action against this state law will succeed at the Supreme Court since legal precedent is on the side of the California law. In 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court case Prince v. Massachusetts, the majority opinion concluded that, “The right to practice religion [personal belief in the case of SB277] freely does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill heal