Wiener backs dropping vaccine exemptions

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener Tuesday introduced a resolution supporting efforts to eliminate personal belief exemptions for vaccinations for children in California.

If approved, the resolution would put the Board of Supervisors on record as supporting Senate Bill 277, introduced last Thursday, which would require all public and private schools and child care facilities to require proof of vaccination for enrollment.

Currently, California is one of 19 states that allow parents to obtain an exemption from vaccination requirements due to personal beliefs. The rate of parents in the state requesting exemptions from vaccinations tripled from 2000 to 2014, to a rate of one in every 40 kids, Wiener said today in a statement”

“Children need to be vaccinated, to protect their own health and the health of our entire community. …¬†There is no scientific basis for not vaccinating children, with the exception of the small minority of children who have health problems.”

The move to eliminate personal belief exemptions comes in the wake of a measles outbreak that has so far led to 123 confirmed cases since December, state public health officials said Monday.

Of those cases, 39 have been linked to visits to Disneyland between Dec. 17 and 20, while 28 were due to household or close contacts with a confirmed case. Another eight were exposed in a community setting such as an emergency room where a confirmed case was present.

State public health officials have determined that 56 of those people with confirmed cases of measles were unvaccinated and 16 had one or more doses of the measles vaccine. Vaccination documentation was not available for all cases.

In the Bay Area, as of Monday, six confirmed cases had been reported in Alameda County, two in Marin County, three in San Mateo County, two in Santa Clara County and one in Solano County, according to state officials. The Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on Wiener’s resolution at its next meeting.