June 12, 2019
To: Assembly Health Committee
State Capitol, Room 6005
Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: SB 276 (Pan) as amended on 5/17/19 – Immunizations: medical exemptions; Elimination of physicians’ right to determine medical exemptions to vaccination for their patients
We at Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC), on behalf of our California members, oppose SB 276 as amended by Pan, as it is both unscientific and unethical.
PIC is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization representing hundreds of doctors, as well as scientists and attorneys, whose mission is to safeguard informed consent in vaccination.
In addition, our Coalition for Informed Consent consists of over 150 member organizations which represent millions of Americans.
SB 276 is unscientific because:
- SB 277-mandated vaccines have not yet been proven to be less risky than the diseases they are designed to prevent.
For example, the chance of dying from measles is 1 in 10,000, based on U.S. data from the prevaccine era. However, the risk of dying or being permanently disabled by the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine has not been proven to be less than 1 in 10,000. This makes mandating the MMR vaccine unscientific and unethical. See attached Measles Disease Information Statement (DIS), Vaccine Risk Statement (VRS), and Immunocompromised Schoolchildren Risk Group InformationStatement (RGIS).In addition, in 2017, we reported in The BMJ that every year an estimated 5,700 U.S. children (approximately 1 in 640) suffer febrile seizures from the first dose of the MMR vaccine—which is five times more than the number of febrile seizures expected from measles. This amounts to 57,000 febrile seizures over the past 10 years due to the MMR vaccine alone. As 5% of children with a history of febrile seizures progress to epilepsy, a debilitating and life-threatening chronic condition, the estimated number of children whose epilepsy is due to the MMR vaccine in the past 10 years is 2,850.1 Furthermore, the risk of seizure from MMR in siblings of children with a history of febrile seizures is 1 in 252, and the risk of seizure from MMR in children with a personal history of febrile seizures is 1 in 51.2
SB 276 is unethical because it:
- Promotes medical bullying by governmental agents and obstructs parents from being able to protect their children from the potential risk of vaccine injuries (i.e., it violates the principle of informed consent/informed refusal).
- Thwarts doctors from being able to protect their patients’ health through personalized vaccine recommendations based on infectious disease risks and individualized vaccine-injury risks, and instead promotes an outdated one-size-fits-all governmental vaccine schedule which is not based on new medical discoveries.
- Subjects the health of California’s children to the mercy of a State Public Health Officer with whom they don’t have a patient-doctor relationship.
Finally, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 was created by Congress as a remedy to mounting vaccine injury lawsuits. Since then, it has not been effectively possible to sue vaccine manufacturers or physicians for vaccine injuries and instead the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has cumulatively awarded about $4,000,000,000 for severe vaccine injury cases or deaths—to only a small fraction of the VICP petitioners who apply within the two- or three-year statute of limitations. Consequently, it is mostly families whose children have suffered uncompensated vaccine injuries and the doctors who care for them (including many of PIC’s M.D. and D.O. members) who have a heightened awareness of the risks vaccines pose to the health of some American children and the diligence required to provide informed consent in an environment that is effectively immune from the tort system, civil litigation, and publicity.
For these reasons, we oppose SB 276 on both scientific and ethical grounds. See attached PIC’s SB 276 Myths vs. Facts: Setting the Record Straight.
We are here to assist you in these highly technical matters and hope you will not allow bad science to violate the ethics of informed consent.
Shira Miller, M.D.
Founder and President
Physicians for Informed Consent
- Miller S. Re: The unofficial vaccine educators: are CDC funded non-profits sufficiently independent? BMJ. 2017;359:j5104. https://www.bmj.com/content/359/bmj.j5104/rr-13.
- Vestergaard M, Hviid A, Madsen KM, et al. MMR vaccination and febrile seizures: evaluation of susceptible subgroups and long-term prognosis. JAMA. 2004 Jul 21;292(3):351-7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15265850.
Enclosed: PIC’s SB 276 Myths vs. Facts: Setting the Record Straight, Measles Disease Information Statement (DIS), Vaccine Risk Statement (VRS), Immunocompromised Schoolchildren Risk Group Information Statement (RGIS)