Senator Bob Huff on SB 277

This was a response to much contact with his office and multiple conversations with his staff.-

Senator Huff Banner

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.


Bob Huff
Senator, 29th District

  1. #1 by lori gregory on May 13, 2015 - 12:49 pm


    • #2 by Debi S. on May 14, 2015 - 10:37 am

      Thank you for standing up for truth! Thank you for your voice of reason!! You are one in a million!

  2. #3 by Adam W. on May 13, 2015 - 1:17 pm

    Thank you for your sensible approach, for considering both sides of the story. Thank you for respecting personal choice!

  3. #4 by Terran Murphy on May 13, 2015 - 1:17 pm

    Thank you for supporting parental choice. That seems to be what is getting lost in all of the rhetoric. Regardless of where you stand in all of the vaccine debates, what is at stake is parental choice.

  4. #5 by Julianna on May 13, 2015 - 2:41 pm


    • #6 by Kristina Nenaydokh on May 13, 2015 - 9:28 pm

      Thank you Senator! You are the voice of reason.

  5. #7 by Kelly on May 13, 2015 - 2:55 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Senator Huff! Such a relief to hear some sense being spoken by a politician.

  6. #8 by Thank you, Bob Huff on May 13, 2015 - 3:13 pm

    This is both a state and US constitutional right to choose to vaccinate.

    Thanks for doing the only correct thing, oppose SB277.

  7. #9 by Dorit Reiss on May 13, 2015 - 3:48 pm

    Dear Senator Huff,
    I am troubled by your comments. Reasonable people can differ on whether removing the exemption from school immunization requirements and allowing non-vaccinating parents to continue to send their children to school without protection from disease is a good idea or a bad idea. But such disagreements must be based on accurate facts.

    There are at least three incorrect facts in your analysis.

    A. MMR immunity wanes over time. Here is what the CDC says: :

    for measles “…both serologic and epidemiologic evidence indicate that the vaccine induces long-term — probably lifelong — immunity, in most persons.” For Rubella, “Follow-up studies indicate that one dose of vaccine confers long-term — probably lifelong – protection.” For mumps, “The duration of vaccine-induced immunity is unknown, but serologic and epidemiologic data collected during 30 years of live vaccine use indicate both the persistence of antibody and continuing protection against infection.”

    See also:
    “estimated antibody half lives of 92 years for smallpox, 3014 years for measles, 542 years for mumps, 114 years for rubella, 11,552 years for Epstein-Barr, 50 years for varicella-zoster, 11 years for tetanus (which is why a booster is recommended) and 19 years for diphtheria (though 85% of subjects were still immune). Immunity to tetanus and diphtheria probably last much longer, but the antibody levels measured were at the detection limit of the assays used”

    Mumps does wane faster, but not fast enough that a child who received MMR before school would be a risk, in general.

    B. Some vaccines make person receiving them contagious for a while, using the example of chicken pox – vaccine shedding is possible, but extremely rare. “the chicken pox vaccine doesn’t cause shedding unless your child very rarely develops a vesicular rash after getting vaccinated. However, the risk is thought to be minimal and the CDC reports only 5 cases of transmission of varicella vaccine virus after immunization among over 55 million doses of vaccine.”

    The risk of infection with the wild virus from someone who is unvaccinated is much greater – which is why household contacts of immune compromised people are encouraged to get these vaccines:
    “ “Close contacts of patients with compromised immunity should not receive live oral poliovirus vaccine because they might shed the virus and infect a patient with compromised immunity. Close contacts can receive other standard vaccines because viral shedding is unlikely and these pose little risk of infection to a subject with compromised immunity.

    Particularly important are annual immunizations with inactivated influenza vaccine; scheduled periodic pertussis vaccine (Tdap); pneumococcal vaccine; measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine; and varicella vaccine for older contacts whose routine immunizations might not be up to date..”

    C. Immigrants: immigrant does not necessarily mean unvaccinated. In fact, often the rates among immigrants are very, very high.

    In short, the risk to immune compromised is really more from unvaccinated children – at higher risk of disease – than any of the above. If those facts were what led you to your view, I urge you to reconsider.

    • #10 by Message to Dorit Reiss on May 14, 2015 - 9:10 pm

      PARENTS are the only ones to make this decision for their children, not a politician and certainly not you.

  8. #11 by Stefanie Adam on May 13, 2015 - 4:59 pm

    Senator Huff,

    When I was a kid in the 80’s I got 10 vaccinations, tops.
    If anything went wrong with them, we could sue for damages,
    despite there being no cures for vaccine damage, which is permanent. I turned out fine with nothing more than a case of the chicken pox @ age 12. No Asthma, no autoimmune disease.

    Now in 2015 The state wants us to take 60 (6 times what I got as a kid) vaccinations. These vaccinations carry no liability, are not tested for safety or if they even work. It is known that vaccines can cause injury and death. There are no studies showing how taking all these vaccines in combinations are safe.
    There are now 300+ vaccines in the pipelines of PHARMA. The people pushing these vaccines want to make money. They have a captive market with NO LIABILITY. They don’t even have to make a good product and they aren’t, look at the skyrocketing rates of Autism and autoimmune disease in direct correlation with vaccination dates. This is no coincidence. Parents have their children at stake. It is not the job of one child to vaccinate themself to protect everyone else. If one cares to vaccinate, it must be a choice, because no one is responsible for the harm caused,….except for the devastated parents. I am one of those parents.

    Would you play Russian Roulette with your child’s life?
    Would you play Russian Roulette with your own life?

    173 people got the measles at Disneyland. No one died.
    More than 300 people have died since 2005 from just the measles vaccination.

    We will never be able to protect everyone all the time.
    But I will never trade liberty for security.

  9. #12 by Christy on May 13, 2015 - 5:12 pm

    Thank you. Glad to see a senator using logic and common sense!!

  10. #13 by LisaW on May 13, 2015 - 7:30 pm

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments Senator Huff.

    I do have friends with immune compromised children. I have NEVER heard these parents express ANY concerns about being around unvaccinated children. They have expressed concern about exposure to the recently vaccinated, especially those vaccinated with the flu-mist.

    I would also like to add some pertinent information about the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine:

    1) This link provides the most recent information on pertussis rates in the 50 states. Louisiana, which allows religious, philosophical, and medical exemptions has the LOWEST rate of pertussis in the nation. California has the SECOND LOWEST rate of pertussis, despite being much more densely populated than either Mississippi or West Virginia (the only two states without either a religious or personal belief exemption). The reason for this apparent paradox may be explained below.

    2) A FDA primate study from 2013 found that the current (aka acellular) pertussis vaccine does NOT prevent transmission of the bacteria. The vaccination of school age children will do NOTHING to protect vulnerable infants (the population most at risk for hospitalization or death from this disease). According to this study, those recently vaccinated for pertussis can still become infected, but won’t develop symptoms. This is problematic as they can carry and transmit the bacteria for over a month, unknowingly infecting others. On the other hand, an unvaccinated individual (school age child or daycare worker) with symptoms would know they were sick and would thus stay away from others in the community. Moreover, a symptomatic sick person would typically go to the doctor, and could get a course of antibiotics, which is known to shorten the contagious period.

    Here is an article from the New York Times which discusses this research: ‘Using baboons, the researchers found that recently vaccinated animals continued to carry the infection in their throats. Even though those baboons did not get sick from it, they spread the infection to others that were not vaccinated. “When you’re newly vaccinated you are an asymptomatic carrier, which is good for you, but not for the population,” said Tod J. Merkel, the lead author of the study, who is a researcher in the Office of Vaccines Research and Review in the Food and Drug Administration.’

    The FDA’s press release on this study contains this warning: “This research suggests that although individuals immunized with an acellular pertussis vaccine may be protected from disease, they may still become infected with the bacteria without always getting sick and are able to spread infection to others, including young infants who are susceptible to pertussis disease.”

    3) Finally, a separate study demonstrated that the dominant natural circulating strains of pertussis in the United States are now resistant to the vaccine. Most forms of pertussis bacteria now lack the vaccine antigen called Pertactin. These mutated strains are called PRN-negative. Even more disturbing, is the revelation that those who are vaccinated are actually MORE likely to become infected with the mutated PRN-negative strains than the unvaccinated. The CDC reports these findings in the December 2013 Meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors, discussing a 2012 study, page 6 under “Resurgence of Pertussis”.
    “Findings indicated that 85% of the isolates were PRN-deficient and vaccinated patients had significantly higher odds than unvaccinated patients of being infected with PRN-deficient strains. Moreover, when patients with up-to-date DTaP vaccinations were compared to unvaccinated patients, the odds of being infected with PRN-deficient strains increased, suggesting that PRN-bacteria may have a selective advantage in infecting DTaP-vaccinated persons.”

    The above research presents an extremely plausible explanation for the seemingly paradoxical 2014 and 2015 reports of pertussis outbreaks in vaccinated children such as in this school in Utah, and even in California. In Sacramento last year, highly vaccinated populations actually had MORE cases of pertussis than suburbs with high PBE rates. In Elk Grove, only 80 out of 4500 kindergarteners used the PBE. Yet, the Bee reports, “whooping cough ripped through Elk Grove’s classrooms and cul-de-sacs in 2014. Infection rates within the large Sacramento suburb were three to five times higher than rates elsewhere in the county, local health records show….The suburb of North Highland, on the other hand, had among the highest rates of parents opting out of vaccinating their children but reported fewer than five pertussis cases last year.”

    Finally, I would like to encourage EVERYONE to watch this video which was created by a physician in his search to understand why so many parents had concerns about vaccinations. It is both a concise and comprehensive overview of the science and controversy regarding vaccine safety.

  11. #14 by Alexandria on May 13, 2015 - 7:44 pm

    Thank you, Senator Huff. Thank you for helping us protect our children.

  12. #15 by Vanessa S on May 13, 2015 - 8:11 pm

    Thank you, Senator Huff, for standing up for parental, civil, Constitutional, and educational rights! We need more elected officials like you!

  13. #16 by Joyce Hesselgrave on May 13, 2015 - 8:29 pm

    Thank you, Senator Huff!

  14. #17 by Bronwyn Leslie on May 13, 2015 - 8:47 pm

    Thank you Senator Huff for being a voice of reason. There is no public health emergency which would warrant the elimination of health care choice and right to exercise their religious beliefs. The vast majority of California’s families vaccinate and many personal beliefs exemptions were for selective vaccination. The number of immunocompromised in school has never been quoted by proponents but from medical guidelines can be deduced as so small as to be negligible. You are a hero for upholding California’s children right to an education.

  15. #18 by Olga on May 13, 2015 - 8:53 pm

    Thank you so much for listening to the arguments and making common sense decisions. Disneyland is definitely a public and international place, where tourists from all over the world come for a visit. In order to make this place 100% safe there should be guards at the entrance, checking health of every person or even doing blood tests :).

    Several percent of non-vaccinated kids won’t change the overall picture, but taking the freedom of medical choices is harmful to the overall country liberty. Thank you for keeping California’s freedom!

  16. #19 by K on May 13, 2015 - 9:31 pm

    Senator Huff,
    You are my hero! I’m a lifelong Democrat, but I would vote for you over any other candidate any day.

    Since all of this started up, I have been forced to seek a medical exemption for my son, who started having seizures within 24 hours of being vaccinated with Dtap and two other vaccines. I finally have a partial medical exemption for him (his neurologist has exempted him from the three vaccines he received that day). I don’t see why I should be forced to give him the chicken pox (varicella) vaccine and hope that it doesn’t cause him any more neurological problems. In my son’s case, and especially with an illness like chicken pox, I consider the vaccine to be much more risky than the actual disease.

    Another thing to note, which you may have already heard before, is that the CDC itself says that unvaccinated children are not the cause of outbreaks of pertussis, yet Dtap is on the list of mandatory vaccinations in this bill. Admittedly, pertussis is a dangerous disease for babies, and the public should be educated about its symptoms and the need to get antibiotics to stop transmission of the illness. But that is not the same thing as mandating it. And if I haven’t already shared with you a 2013 FDA study on baboons and the Dtap vaccine, I would like to note that the study showed that the bacteria which causes pertussis stays in the airways of the recently vaccinated for up to six weeks afterwards. This means that people who have been recently vaccinated with Dtap are a threat to the immuno-compromised and young babies.

    Senator Huff, I am not against vaccines (my older child was fully vaccinated), but I think there has been a lack of transparency about the risks associated with vaccines. I hope you will consider sponsoring a law that would require doctors to report any serious medical events within 4 days of a vaccination to a database, and that would levy a hefty fine on them if they did not report within a reasonable time frame. The current system, VAERs, does not function. Doctors are supposed to report to it, but rarely do, and parents rarely know about it. Then people attack the validity of VAERs because there are some parents who find out about it and make their own report (like me), saying that the reports are not verified. So let’s make a law that only doctors can report, but require them to inform parents of the law at the time of vaccination, make the database accessible to the public so parents can check up on their doctor’s report, and fine the doctors if they refuse to do it!

    Again, thank you so much for being brave enough to stand up against powerful lobbyists and your colleagues. I know it takes a tremendous amount of guts to speak honestly and openly about your views in the current climate. Know that there are many of us taking that same risk in our communities, and you have given us hope. Bless you!

  17. #20 by Nandini Minocha on May 13, 2015 - 10:12 pm

    Thank you Senator Huff for being the voice of reason. there are many democrats ready to switch parties , we are so disillusioned by our party. They have become power crazy & narcissistic to completely ignore the very people who elected them for their pharma lobbyists. As the leader of republicans in the senate I urge you please help us to kill this bill somehow in the senate of the assembly. Save the day senator Huff many many democrats want to see California go purple in 2016 over this disgusting piece of legislation.

  18. #21 by Leslie on May 14, 2015 - 5:33 am

    Senator Huff –

    I can’t thank you enough for your support. My son is autistic, yet he is not vaccinated. The reason he hasn’t received any shots is because both our pediatrician and our specialist felt my son was always too sick to receive them. I have been so thankful for their advice. I went in on his four-month check up to get him vaccinated. Had I done that, I’m not sure I’d have the son I do today – he’s bright, conversational, funny, imaginative, etc. We’ve been doing everything in our power to recover him since he was just 12 months old. We later learned he has mitochondria issues and cerebral folate deficiency. A child with that medical profile shouldn’t be vaccinated, yet any other doctor would have followed a schedule and not his intuition that something more was wrong with my child.

    Even with our extremely large medical history, it isn’t likely we will qualify for an exemption. Our two doctors explained to us that doctors like them will be the only ones handing our exemptions and this will put them at risk of investigation and losing their licenses. Dr. Bob Sear’s (who is not our doctor) said it best in his email this week.

    The two most important factors is my son’s treatment plan is socialization and ABA therapy, both which will be removed from us if this bill passes. My son attends a well-known clinic that has him involved in social circles, which he loves, and one-on-one therapy. Since this is considered an developmental center, he will be banned from attending. The clinic is planning on sending an aid with him to start preschool this summer. We have chosen our school, paid the deposit, yet if this passes, he will not be able to attend. Our only option would be to do ABA therapy at home. Does that isolation sound like a good idea when treating a child with autism, which is a social-developmental disorder?

    Of course, our priority is our child’s well-being. That’s why our plan is to move out-of-state. Thank God we have the means to do so. But what about the thousands of families similar to ours that don’t have that as an option. This is really so sad.

    That’s why I’m so grateful for your support and your rational thinking. Will you run for governor, please?


    • #22 by Anonymous on May 14, 2015 - 12:27 pm

      Thank you for being brave enough to stand up for our children and our rights

  19. #23 by Betty on May 14, 2015 - 5:45 am

    Thank-you for your support.

  20. #24 by Pam on May 14, 2015 - 7:09 am

    Thank you Senator Huff and your professional staff for hearing us and doing your own research. I am a constituent, voted for you and happy you are here with so many of us who have been censored so often.

  21. #25 by michele on May 14, 2015 - 7:24 am

    Thank you for supporting parental rights and opposing sb 277 !

  22. #26 by Monica on May 14, 2015 - 7:59 am

    Thank you so much for your support for personal choice. Forced vaccination while holding a child’s education hostage is not the way to go. We, the people appreciate you!

  23. #27 by Heather Morton on May 14, 2015 - 8:04 am

    Thank you for standing for parental choice.

  24. #28 by Alex on May 14, 2015 - 8:13 am

    Thank you Senator Huff for preserving our rights and freedom!!

  25. #29 by Zurama on May 14, 2015 - 8:22 am

    Thank you for being the voice of reason in this insane push for forced vaccinations! Vaccines as any other drug comes with risks and should not be forced on our children, but instead parents should have the freedom to make an informed decision without their children losing their right to a free public education!

  26. #30 by Diana Bergstrand on May 14, 2015 - 8:41 am

    Thank you Senator Huff, for your insight and courage. You are a voice of reason in the Web of corruption surrounding this bill and we who value human rights and the health of our children have the utmost gratitude!

  27. #31 by Sybil Carlson on May 14, 2015 - 8:59 am

    Thank you for bringing truth and reason! Real science does show that SB277 is not the answer. I appreciate your honesty, courage and integrity on this issue. You have taken the time to educate yourself rather than just accept the misinformation that is being used to push this bill.

  28. #32 by Lisa on May 14, 2015 - 9:20 am

    Thank you for allowing us to keep some of our freedom. I think this country is getting to controlling and forgot what the bases of what America should be about (freedom of choice). California is becoming way too controlling in the worse way. I am so happy we have someone like you helping us.

  29. #33 by Denise Willey on May 14, 2015 - 9:43 am

    I am so appreciative of your decision concerning SB277. Though my child is partially vaccinated I am very concerned about this attempt at government over-reach to take the parent out of the equation. It is a shame that anyone would consider taking away parental rights to make medical decisions for our children. I have been a lifelong democrat but am extremely disillusioned with my party and will be voting very differently in the future because of this bill which I feel is unconstitutional. Thank you for looking at both sides of the issue instead of just following the politicians that would take away our rights. This is such a big deal!!!

  30. #34 by Mo on May 14, 2015 - 1:13 pm

    Thank you Senator Huff.

    Our family has a history of adverse reactions (death from Vaccine induced Guillain Barre syndrome being one of those reactions.) We cannot get an exemption.

    Your words were insightful, well informed and respectful. Overreaching – you nailed it. I appreciate everything you said and did. And you’ve converted this once democrat into a republican.

  31. #35 by Mechelle Bodzin on May 15, 2015 - 10:48 am

    Thank you for supporting our rights as parents & Americans! It means more than you know!

  32. #36 by Noreen on May 15, 2015 - 1:35 pm

    I don’t understand why Senator Huff abstained instead of voting no yesterday. What is going on?

  33. #37 by L.Paxton on May 15, 2015 - 7:54 pm

    Senator Huff,
    Thank you! I appreciate that you are able to see that there is nothing that warrants this type of legislation. What is in place, AB2109, is working. Our vaccination rate in CA at an all time high an PBEs have actually fallen. Thank you for standing behind a parent’s right to make medical choices for their children. SB277 is about coercion not consent.
    You are a man of integrity. That matters to me.

  34. #38 by Vaccination & Frequency on May 16, 2015 - 9:15 am

    Vaccination and Frequency

    “The veterans are getting multiple vaccines, at once. It’s burning out their adrenals; we can directly follow it back to the vaccines and that’s causing the suicides.”

    “We are seeing a tremendous amount of people that are infertile and you can track it back to Gardisil and that series of horrible vaccines. We have proven that the frequencies of the vaccine are infertility frequencies for ovulation, testosterone production, estrogen. And when you look at some of the literature . . . they put $2,000,000 in the pot to push Gardisil.”

    More information:

(will not be published)

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