I have been asked about that. For what it’s worth, I have been receiving reports from parents that they are receiving letters from schools indicating that their child’s medical exemption is being revoked as of the coming school year based on the fact that the ME was written by a physician who has been disciplined by the Medical Board. I guess that the overwhelming majority of ME’s issued under SB 277 were issued by physicians who have already been disciplined or are under investigation.
I think it’s a school or district by district decision about when to notify families, and it a process that may take some time. But I think the safe and rational thing would be to assume is that if your physician has been disciplined, you will receive the notification letter so indicating and that your child will have to start the catch-up schedule which I have outlined in a prior post, and that your two choices are home school (difficult for high school I would think) or get your child vaccinated. Odds are that is the way it is going to play out.
Some of you out there are irate about this. Some of you feel that it violates your religious or constitutional rights. I have discussed these issues many many times and so have the courts. However, the courts have not been sympathetic to these big constitutional issues about personal freedom rights not to get mandated vaccines. You may not like it or agree with it, but I think any fair knowledgeable lawyer would tell you that I am right in terms of the state of the law, as it currently exists. Sure maybe the new Supreme Court religious conservative majority might change things in a year or three, but that is not going to help you for the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, and the lower courts apply the law that exists currently.
That all being said, I do have one off-the-wall idea. No guarantees that it will work, and it probably won’t, but you have nothing to lose, because right now, your child is either going to have to comply with catch-up or he/she won’t be in school next school year (or you can move out of state to someplace that still has a PBE or religious exemption). It’s that simple.
Here is my crazy idea (and it really is probably crazy).
If you get one of these revocation letters, send back a response that you want to appeal the decision to the school and/or CDPH and you would like the school to send you the information about the appeals process.
That’s it. There are probably eight thousand families which are going to receive this letter from their children’s schools in the next few months. Everyone should write back and say they want to appeal and ask for information about the process. Five or eight or ten thousand people writing this letter and requesting an appeal is going to have some impact and reaction from the schools and the CDPH.
Logically, there are three basic possible responses to your letter. 1. There is no appeals process. 2. There is an appeals process and here is the info, or 3. There is an appeals process (or we don’t know if there is) but contact CDPH.
If it’s 3, then request an appeal from the CDPH.
If 2. fill out the paperwork (and the first few who receive it should forward a copy to me).
If 1. I’d like to see a copy of a few of these letters because I think that could and probably will be a basis of a lawsuit, based on the denial of a statutory and/or constitutional right.
For those of you who have asked me about it and about my oblique reference in my post about the CDPH dropping the hammer, this is my answer and what I was referring to, funding permitting.
No promises about the outcome, but there is much hell to be raised, and you all are the ones to raise it.
That’s it. Get to work!
Rick Jaffe, Esq.
Someone sent me a copy of the letter. It does talk about an appeal process and even mentions appealing because the doctor had not been disciplined. That’s not the appeal I am talking about, since if you got the letter, chances are your ME writing doc has been disciplined. I am talking about an appeal of the decision to revoke the ME on the grounds that it is still medically valid, and it shouldn’t matter the status of the doctor. You want to appeal on the merits, just like there is a right to appeal on the merits for 2021-2022 ME’s.
Here is the letter one family received. Thanks family for the quick response.
Yesterday a letter was mailed home with information specific to your child. If you do not receive the written letter by May 5, 2021, please contact Immunizations@sandi.net for another copy.
The California Department of Public Health, Immunization Branch notified schools on April 14, 2021 that medical immunization exemptions are revoked if they were issued prior to January 1, 2020 by any physician who has had disciplinary action taken by the Medical Board of California or Osteopathic Medical Board of California. (Health & Safety Code, 120372(d)(4)).
The medical exemption we have on file for your child will not be valid for use at school starting the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.
• Next step: Contact your child’s physician.
If your child does not need a medical exemption, your child’s physician can help your child catch up on needed vaccines. (For more information, visit https://www.shotsforschool.org).
Students in grades TK/K-12 need:
Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP, DTP, Tdap, or Td) — 5 doses (4 doses OK if one was given on or after 4th birthday. 3 doses OK if one was given on or after 7th birthday.)
Polio — 4 doses (3 doses OK if one was given on or after 4th birthday)
Hepatitis B — 3 doses (Not required for 7th grade entry)
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) — 2 doses (Both given on or after 1st birthday)
Varicella (Chickenpox) — 2 doses. History of disease does not meet this requirement.
Students in grades 7-12 also need Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap) —1 dose given after age 7
If your child still needs a medical exemption, go to the California Immunization Registry – Medical Exemption web site at https://cair.cdph.ca.gov/exemptions to request a medical exemption.
•To appeal this decision:
If you believe the physician who issued the exemption prior to 2020 has not had disciplinary action taken by the Medical Board of California or Osteopathic Medical Board of California, you may appeal the decision within 30 days of this notification of the revocation with the California Health and Human Services Agency. (emphasis added).
Children whose medical exemptions are revoked for the reasons above must provide updated documentation to their school prior to the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. Acceptable documentation includes record of receiving required immunizations or a medical exemption issued through the California Immunization Registry Medical Exemption web site.
If you have any questions, or need information on appealing the decision, please refer to https://www.shotsforschool.org/exemptions .
Comment by the family:
However, question 17 says nothing about the appeal process. If you click ‘letter’ where it says ‘Additional details are in the letter to child care facilities and schools’ it opens up the letter sent to all the schools and only there, 3/4 of the way down the page, does it say ‘instructions and appeal form’. Here is the appeal form: https://eziz.org/assets/docs/shotsforschool/Pre2020ExemptionAppealForm.pdf
So the information is out there, but it sure is buried! I do intend to start the appeal process and I wanted to share with you the letter above that I received.”
The principle and tactic is the same. Contact your school and tell them you want to appeal to the school. Let them write you back that it doesn’t have an appeals process. Do the appeal too.