Help Stop SB277 Before Mandatory Vaccinations Become Law in CA

Dear California NVIC Advocacy Team Members,

This is a big week needing your action to protect the personal belief exemption to mandatory vaccination in California. Please follow the action items below.  SB 277, by California Senator Richard Pan and Senator Ben Allen to repeal the exemption, is being heard in two committees, Senate Health on 4/8 and Senate Education on 4/18, and your calls and emails to committee members requesting them to VOTE NO on SB 277 are needed.

It is important that you contact your State Senator and State Assembly Member and Governor Brown to ask them to oppose SB 277 which is attempting to repeal the personal belief exemption to mandatory vaccination. Please educate them as to why personal are religious exemptions to mandated vaccinations are important to your family and explain that the passage of any this bill will create an even more hostile environment for California families who don’t agree with safety, efficacy, or necessity of every single dose of every single government mandated vaccine.

If the California Legislature passes SB 277, the only option left for parents will be medical exemptions that must be signed by a licensed physician.


1)  Wednesday, April 8th before 1:30 pm PST, Call members of the Senate Health Committee and request that they vote NO on SB277 today!  The hearing is being held today at 1:30 pm in the John L. Burton Hearing Room (4203).  (

Only prearranged limited testimony will be taken for and against the bill, but if you are at the capitol to watch the hearing, you will be given the opportunity to state your name and position on the bill for the record.  There is a rally being hosted by those who oppose the bill that is open for all to attend from 10:00 am until noon on the front steps of the capitol.

SB 277 will be heard first and the hearing will be televised live at

California Senate Health Committee – 2015

Senator Capitol Phone District Phone Capitol Fax Legislative Web Page
Ed Hernandez, Chair (916) 651-4022 (626) 430-2499 (916) 651-4922
Janet Nguyen, Vice Chair 916.651.4034 714.558.4400 916.651.4934
Isadore Hall, III* (916) 651-4035 (310) 514-8573 (916) 651-4935
Holly Mitchell* (916) 651-4030 (213) 745-6656 (916) 651-4930
Bill Monning (916) 651-4017 (831) 657-6315, (805) 549-3784, (831) 425-0401 (916) 651-4917
Jim Nielson (916) 651-4004 (916) 772-0571, (530) 879-7424, (530) 751-8657 (916) 651-4904
Richard Pan, sponsor SB 277 (916) 651-4006 (916) 262-2904 (916) 651-4906
Richard D Roth (916) 651-4031 (951) 680-6750, (951) 443-4078 None listed
Lois Wolk* (916) 651-4003 (707) 454-3808, (707) 224-1990,

(707) 551-2389

(916) 651-4903

*Co-Sponsor of SB 277

To send an email, use senator.  the senator’s last name @ – Committee web page

2)  Choose how you would like to deliver your message to your own legislators. The suggested modes of communication below are listed in the order of being more likely to be more impactful on educating your legislator.

a) Make an appointment for a direct personal visit;
b) Make an appointment to talk directly in a personal phone call;
c) Make an appointment to talk in person to a legislative aide (capitol or district office);
d) Call and talk to a legislative aide to relay a message; or
e) Send a letter, a fax, or an email through web contact forms or legislative email address.

3)  Lookup your State Representative and Senator and their contact information.
Enter your address here:  for your State Assembly Member and State Senator’s contact information.  Find the location of your State Senator’s district office here –  Find the location of your State Assembly Member’s district office here –
Or if you are registered with the NVIC Advocacy Portal, register/login at Click on “Check What is Happening in Your State” on the home page or “My State” on the STATE TEAMS Tab.  Your personal state legislators are listed on the right side of the page. Click on them one at a time to display their contact information.

4)  Ask Governor Brown to respect religious rights and the right of Californians to delay or exempt their child from one or more of the vaccines on the one-size-fits-all-schedule for personal or religious beliefs.  California already has a restricted personal belief exemption that requires the additional signature of a health care provider because of the passage of AB 2109 in 2012.  California does not have a separate religious exemption in the law.  When Governor Brown signed AB 2109 on Sept. 30, 2012, he directed the health department to also allow for a separate religious exemption on the form.
Contact Information for Governor Brown:

5)  Contact members of the Senate Education Committee over the next week and request that they vote NO on SB277. The hearing is being held on 4/15/15 at 9 am in the John L. Burton Hearing Room (4203) (  Once again, unfortunately, only invited testimony will be given, but you can attend to show your support for those opposing the bill and watch online.

California Senate Education Committee Members – 2015

Senator Capitol Phone Email Legislator Web Page
Carol Liu, Chair (916) 651-4025
Bob Huff, Vice Chair (916) 651-4029
Marty Block (916) 651-4039
Loni Hancock (916) 651-4009
Connie M. Leyva (916) 651-4020
Tony Mendoza (916) 651-4032
Richard Pan (916) 651-4006
Andy Vidak (916) 651-4014 – committee web page

6)  Suggested talking points for legislators:
Introduce yourself and identify yourself as a constituent if the call, visit, or email is to your own Senator or Assembly Member.

Ask them to support maintaining personal belief and religious and to oppose any effort to repeal or restrict these exemptions.

Share that you are very concerned about the extremely hostile environment a bill like this could create for California families who don’t agree with safety, efficacy, or necessity of every single dose of every single government mandated vaccine.

Explain why it is important to your family to be able to delay or decline vaccination.  This bill isn’t going to make you vaccinate, it will just make educating your child almost impossible. This is where you could BRIEFLY share your vaccine reaction, harassment, or vaccine failure story to personalize your communication.

Ask them their position on SB 277 and please link to our California Legislative Survey Form and let us know so we can learn where we need to continue to target our efforts. You are free to use any of the talking points in our NVIC written testimony (posted below) against this bill that resonate with you.

7)  Refer to NVIC’s “Reforming Vaccine Policy and Law” guide for answers to questions your legislators may have.  The fully referenced version can be found at:—Law-Guide.aspx. You can include this link in your letters as well.

8) Refer to “Measles in Disneyland: Third MMR Shot and Vaccine Exemption Ban?”  by NVIC’s President Barbara Loe Fisher for some illuminating insight into facts that need to be exposed about the California measles outbreak and other vaccine failures.

9) Please correct the media when you see misinformation and to affirm the right of families to utilize personal belief exemptions to mandatory vaccination.  Use comment boards for online articles, letters to the editor or editorials for print media, and phone calls and emails to news stations. There has been a lot of misinformation in the media, especially in California.

10)  Please forward this email to family and friends and ask them to share their concerns with their legislators as well.

11) Login to the NVIC Advocacy Portal often at  NVIC Advocacy will post and follow any bills in California that propose to further restrict or eliminate exemptions to mandatory vaccination.


NVIC Written Testimony Against SB 277

Dawn Richardson

Director of Advocacy

National Vaccine Information Center

Statement Opposing SB 277

California Senate Health Committee

Hearing on April 8, 2015


Thank you for providing this opportunity to express our opposition to SB 277 which proposes to eliminate the personal belief exemption to mandatory vaccination in California.

I am offering this statement of opposition on behalf of California donor supporters of the non-profit National Vaccine Information Center, a consumer advocacy organization founded in 1982 to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and the protection of the informed consent ethic.

This bill, if passed, would make the only vaccine exemption option in California a difficult to obtain medical exemption.

There are many outstanding questions the bill sponsor and other legislators have failed or refused to answer if this bill passes including:

·        How will families who still decide to delay or decline vaccines provide a legally required education for their child? Have you considered the implications for the future for these children for whom you would be denying an education?

·        What happens to a parent who still refuses to vaccinate their child if this bill passes? Will they be punished for truancy? Will they be arrested? Will families be broken apart by child protective services?

·        What happens to the child whose parent does not agree with the safety, efficacy, or necessity of every single California mandated vaccine? Will the child be taken from their loving parents and forcibly vaccinated?

·        What will happen to children who have family histories or personal histories with vaccine reactions that families can’t find a doctor to write a medical exemption?

It is wrong for the bill authors to promote this type of condemning and discriminating legislation without clearly telling families of this state and other legislators what passage would actually mean for families in disagreement with the use of every mandated vaccine.

There are many legitimate reasons why families may question the use of some or all vaccines including:

It is particularly disturbing that Physicians, in the American Medical Association Code of Ethics, affirm philosophical and religious exemptions for themselves (see Opinion 9.133 Routine Universal Immunization of Physicians) and yet they want to remove this same right in law for California parents and their children.

By targeting only those students with personal belief exemptions, SB 277 has absolutely nothing to do with public health and protecting immune compromised students. Some people are non-responders to some vaccines and vaccine effectiveness for some vaccines, especially for pertussis containing vaccines, wanes rapidly. Some students are provisionally enrolled and not fully vaccinated at the time of enrollment. Federal law, the McKinney-Vento Act, requires that homeless students be allowed to attend school without proof of immunizations.   Some students are delinquent on vaccinations (no vaccine and no exemption to comply with the mandate). There are no requirements (and there shouldn’t be) that teachers, staff, and administration be vaccinated with the same childhood vaccine schedule. These all are people who are no different immunologically than a healthy student with a vaccine exemption and yet they represent a much larger percentage of the school population than the small percentage of students holding a personal belief exemption targeted for expulsion by this bill.

On the other hand, students with active HIV infections are not only allowed to attend school, the confidentiality of their infection status is protected in law. Students infected with Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C also attend school without parents of other students being told. Students who are vaccinated with live viral vaccines experience viral shedding and can infect susceptible individuals for a period of several weeks post vaccination and yet they are allowed to attend school too. Some people who are vaccinated still get the illness (vaccine failures) while some have subclinical infections and can still transmit vaccine preventable diseases and not show symptoms because the vaccine suppresses them.

Prohibiting kids with personal belief vaccine exemptions from attending school won’t prevent vaccine targeted communicable diseases. There was a recent outbreak of pertussis at Monterrey Park School in Salinas, California.  All 4 cases were in vaccinated students even in spite of a 99.5% school vaccination rate.  The previous year in that same school district, only 9% of the cases of pertussis were in students never vaccinated.  Claiming SB 277 will create a safe environment for immune compromised students is not only dishonest, it puts those students at risk of being a victim of a false sense of security.

SB 277 will not make parents vaccinate their children who don’t want to; the bill just kicks their children out of school, but these kids still live here and are part of the community and future of this state. SB 277 is based on the faulty assumption that denying partially or unvaccinated children an education produces an overall desirable outcome for the state of California. The bottom line is SB 277 needs to be opposed because it isolates, marginalizes and punishes healthy California children whose parents don’t agree with all government mandated vaccines by extorting an education with vaccination.  Vote no on SB 277.


NVIC Advocacy Team and
The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) works diligently to prepare and disseminate our legislative advocacy action alerts and supporting materials.  We request that organizations and members of the public forward our alerts in their original form to assure consistent and accurate messaging and effective action. Please acknowledge NVIC as originators of this work when forwarding to members of the public and like-minded organizations. To receive alerts immediately, register  at, a website dedicated to this sole purpose and provided as a free public service by NVIC. 

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