KNOW WHO IS OR SHOULD BE EXEMPT
"Taking a ‘sound point of view’, people will invent a vaccine to influence the organism as early as possible, preferably as soon as it is born, so that this human body never even gets the idea that there is a soul and a spirit..."
From Rudolf Steiner lecture: The Spirits of Darkness 1917
If you believe your child should be exempt from vaccines or you do not want all the required vaccines for medical reasons then once they reach a "grade span" they will have lost their PBE (new PBE's were no longer available in California as of 1/1/16). A “grade span” is defined as: birth to preschool; kindergarten and grades 1 to 6, inclusive, including transitional kindergarten; and grades 7 to 12, inclusive. Transferring to another school district is not a grade span and it should not nullify a PBE granted in another district, but how individual schools or school districts implement the law may vary with levels of understanding about what the law requires.
If your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) they can remain in school without vaccines. Federal law prohibits anyone with an IEP to be denied a public education for any reason - most children with special needs (mainly for intellectual impairments or learning disorders) will have an IEP. Amendment h of SB 277 states "This section does not prohibit a pupil who qualifies for an individualized education program, pursuant to federal law and Section 56026 of the Education Code, from accessing any special education and related services required by his or her individualized education program."
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a federal law, guarantees that eligible preschoolers, ages 3 to 5, can get an IEP and special education services through the public school system. Like an IFSP, an IEP is a legally binding document. It spells out the services and accommodations the school district will provide to meet your child’s needs. In oter words, a child can get an IEP even before entering pre-school.
If your child will neither be grandfathered in nor has an IEP and you still want your child in school but either with none or just some vaccines they will need a medical exemption. If your child has an IEP and you don't want your child vaccinated - NEVER let go of that IEP - keep it in force throughout all the "grade spans," but that may not be something in your control, so it may be prudent to explore whether your child qualifies for a medical exemption.
Currently, California only requires six out of the twelve vaccines be given to be or enter school: DTaP, Polio, Hib, Hep B, MMR, and Chickenpox. The other six vaccines are optional for now.
The new California law leaves it up to the medical judgement of a licensed physician to determine if a child qualifies for a medical exemption - "the physical condition of the child is such, or medical circumstances relating to the child are such, that immunization is not considered safe, indicating the specific nature and probable duration of the medical condition or circumstances including, but not limited to, family history, for which the physician does not recommend immunization . . ."
If your child qualifies for a medical exemption, it is my opinion that the medical exemption and the reasons thereof be documented sooner rather than later.
What would qualify for a medical exemption?
1) a child who has already had a serious vaccine reaction - NOW SOME GROUPS, such as Kaiser, have essentially made this the only qualifier for a medical exemption - a near death level vaccine reaction, but that is not the law, and the wording of the law was just quoted above.
2) the sibling of the child who had that vaccine reaction
3) children of someone who had a serious vaccine reaction
4) reactions in more distant relatives really calls for looking at genetic biomarkers or polymorphisms that have been associated with vaccine reactions, because documenting a 4th cousin once removed had an untoward vaccine reaction is likely to be challenged at some point.
5) Children with chronic medical conditions may qualify depending on the condition.
6) Children in families where a family member has a neurological or even psychiatric disease may qualify depending on what that is and if there is any association with untoward reactions to vaccines.
7) Children with a documented polymorphismsm that have been associated with untoward vaccine reactions, such as the MTHFR gene, could qualify for a medical exemption.
8) Having anitbody titers to any or all of the required vaccines that demonstrate immunity should, according to the law that SB 277 amended, be good enough to comply with California requirements, but at each grade-span those titers will need to be re-measured to prove they are still present. Having titers proves immunity (although that isn't always the case) and the vaccine requirement is met (until the next grade-span).
Requirements to meet daycare or preschool vaccine benchmarks (in a previously-unvaccinated child):
3 Hep B
*Note: only 1 HIB is needed for infants 15 months and older.
Also note: a 5th dose of DTaP and a 4th dose of Polio aren't needed as long as the last doses of each are given at 4 years of age and older.
Requirments to meet kindergarten vaccine benchmarks (in a previously-unvaccinated child):
3 Hep B
*Note: HIB is only approved by the FDA to be given prior to a child's 5th birthday. If a child turns five before this school requirement is enforced, he or she won't need this vaccine.
**Note: For kindergarten, two doses of MMR and Chickenpox are required. However, for most children, one dose creates adequate titers. You can can get a blood test for antibody titers to prove that but titers will need to be repeated at each grade-span.
Requirments to meet vaccine benchmarks for children seven through eleven years (in a previously-unvaccinated child):
Note: Children 7 years and older can't get DTaP, and they can get Tdap. Tdap is only approved as a single dose.
Requirements to meet vaccine benchmarks for teenagers and older (in a previously-unvaccinated child):
California, does not require the Hep B vaccine for teens.
Special note on antibody titers - documented immunity against disease organisms,
aka titers, is considered proof of immunity and cancel the need to have a vaccine for
that disease as per California Department of Public Health – August 2015 Immunization
and Immunity Testing Recommendations for California Healthcare Personnel and Health
Unvaccinated children who are entering school at age 7 or older don’t need to catch up on most of
their missing shots. Only the following are required under the new CA law according to the ShotsforSchool
1 Chicken pox***
*Note: Children 7 years and older can’t get DTaP (it isn’t FDA approved past 6 years of age), and they can’t get a series of Tdap. Tdap is only approved as a single dose. This page on the ShotsforSchool.org website is misleading. It says that 3 or 4 DTaP doses are needed to enter school at this age. However, doctors aren’t allowed to give DTaP after age 6. And only 1 Tdap is allowed. Therefore the CA Department of Public Health’s note saying 3 or 4 DTaPs should be given to 7 year olds goes against FDA and CDC guidelines. The bottom line is that only 1 Tdap can be given once a child turns 7 years.
**Note: Under the K – 12 tab on ShotsforSchool.org, for kids ages 7 to 17 entering school, only 1 MMR is indicated at first, then a second dose by 7th grade. Or, a blood test to confirm the 1 dose worked would get a 7th grader out of the second dose.
***Note: The same page on the ShotsforSchool.org website states that only 1 Chickenpox vaccine is needed for ages 7 to 12; two doses are needed for kids admitted at 13 and older. A blood test could be done to determine the need for the second dose.
Also note that Hepatitis B is taken off the required list starting at age 7. The K – 12 tab does not list Hepatitis B as a requirement for children once they turn 7 years of age. The language of SB 277 also confirms that children don’t need Hep B vaccine for 7th grade entry.
Starting in the 2019-2020 school year, changes to the California school immunization requirement regulations include, but are not limited to:
Requiring 2 doses of chickenpox (varicella) vaccine (rather than 1) to be checked at Kindergarten entry, 7th grade advancement or K-12 admission or transfer
Requiring 2 MMR vaccine doses and 3 Hepatitis B vaccine doses at admission or transfer throughout K-12, rather than waiting for a certain age
Medical exemptions for new admissions may be signed ONLY by a California-licensed MD/DO
Medical exemptions must include the following information:
(1) The specific nature of the physical condition or medical circumstance for which the licensed physician does not recommend immunization;
(2) That the physical condition or medical circumstance is permanent; and
(3) Each specific required immunization from which the pupil is permanently exempt.
Each temporary medical exemption may be issued for no more than 12 months