This was a response to much contact with his office and multiple conversations with his staff.-
Thank you for contacting my office regarding your opposition to SB 277 (Pan) relating to vaccinations. I appreciate you taking the time to write me on issues mattering most to you.
The recent outbreak of measles has caused many to believe we are now seeing the effect of California’s “exemption” clause. This has now prompted debate of our state’s policy on the issue and has materialized into SB 277 which will mandate vaccines for public school children by eliminating the personal exemption clause.
Having heard both sides of the vaccine debate in my role as a member of the Senate Education Committee, I do not believe the current outbreak of measles warrants elimination of the personal exemption.
While I am sensitive to the needs of immune compromised individuals, the reality is some vaccines (such as the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine) wear off after time. Some vaccines actually make the person vaccinated contagious for a while (i.e. the Chicken Pox vaccine). We also have a large immigrant and tourist population who are not vaccinated. To that end, an elimination of the personal exemption is not in and of itself helpful to those who are immune compromised. A parent having a child with a compromised immune system would be negligent to place their child in a public school or public amusement park without expecting diseases to be transmitted.
With all that said, I value vaccines and the medical advances that have created a plethora of vaccines available to protect us from many horrible diseases. I have even inoculated myself and my family. However, the current rules of inoculation, in my estimation, are not broken, and are serving us well. I have not yet heard a compelling argument that would warrant my trading the personal choice of parents to an over-reach of governmental authority. Bottom line is preserving the freedom of choice is outweighing the need for this measure. I think both sides of the argument can be protected by educating people to the realities of vaccines not mandating them. Rest assured, your thoughts on this issue was logged and taken into consideration.
Once again, thank you for contacting me. If I may be of further assistance on this or any other state-related matter, please do not hesitate to contact me at either of my offices. It is an honor to represent you in the State Senate.