Student Immunizations

Health
  • NEW VACCINATION LAW
    Starting July 1, 2019: Immunization Guide

    Background:
    Two bills approved by the Governor, Gavin Newsom, and signed into law on September 9, 2019, will affect students with current or future medical immunization waivers. 

    A student who has not obtained the required immunizations as prescribed by the California Department of Public Heath (“CDPH”) is not permitted to attend school. However, current law permits a student to obtain an exemption from immunization requirements by having on file a written statement by a licensed physician stating that the immunization is not considered safe for the student based on a medical condition or circumstances.

    Senate Bill (“SB”) 276 requires CDPH to develop an electronic, standardized, statewide medical exemption request that would be transmitted using the California Immunization Registry (“CAIR”).
    1) The standardized form must be submitted to the school via CAIR or must be printed, signed, and submitted in paper form.
    2) After January 1, 2021, no school can accept any other form of medical waiver.

    SB 276 codifies the requirement that schools file a report on the immunization status of new entrants to the school on “at least” an annual basis. The law continues to provide that the local health department shall have access to the complete health information as it relates to immunization of each student in the schools or other institutions listed in Section 120335 in order to determine immunization deficiencies.

    SB 276 requires the CDPH to review all medical exemptions for:
    1) schools with an overall immunization rate of less than 95%;
    2) physicians who submit more than five medical exemption forms in a calendar year; and
    3) schools that do not report immunization rates to the CDPH. Under certain circumstances, state health officials could revoke inappropriate or otherwise invalid medical exemptions, subject to an optional appeal.

    The second bill, SB 714, makes three changes to SB 276. First, SB 714 “grandfathers” in some medical exemptions. If a parent has submitted a medical exemption prior to January 1, 2020, the student can continue enrollment in any public or private school until the child enrolls in the next grade span. Any students with medical exemptions on file prior to January 1, 2020, cannot rely on that medical exemption to satisfy immunization requirements to enroll in the next grade span. Second, SB 714 removes a provision of SB 276 that would have made doctors subject to perjury prosecution based on medical exemptions. Finally, SB 714 provides the CDPH can revoke any current medical exemption issued by a doctor who has been disciplined by the state medical board for any reason.

    Resources:

    From the California Department Of Public Health:
    A common question we receive asks if PBE forms filed in 2015 are valid for children first entering child care or school in California in the fall of 2016. PBEs filed in 2015 are only valid when signed by both an authorized health care provider and a parent/guardian no more than 6 months prior to first entry into school or child care or a new grade span. Therefore, PBEs filed in 2015 are invalid for children first entering school or child care, or advancing to 7th grade in California in the fall of 2016.