The only logical explanation for these disparities? There are families who are abusing the medical exemption provision of California’s current vaccination law – and doctors who are enabling this.
We know that California’s existing vaccination law has made a substantial difference in keeping Californians safe. In the current measles outbreak plaguing our great nation (839 cases as of May 10, and sadly rising), just 45 cases have been reported here in California. New York City alone has over 300. We’ve come a long way from the 2015 outbreak. But, the number of cases in California should’ve been zero. As it stands, the LA County Department of Public Health had to order several hundred students and staff at two universities (UCLA and Cal State LA) to quarantine themselves to limit the spread of this highly infectious disease.
Lastly, managing these outbreaks comes at substantial cost to taxpayers. The LA Times reported on May 10 that the current outbreak has cost over $400,000 in staff time. According to Dr. Jan King from the LA County Department of Public Health, local municipalities can can quickly run up a bill that gets into several millions of dollars – dollars that could be better spent elsewhere.
Vaccines are critical to maintaining health and wellbeing. Vaccines prevent diseases that cause real harm. When families decide against vaccinations for their healthy children, they chip away at community immunity which protects our neighbors and friends who legitimately cannot be vaccinated. We need the power of state government to close these loopholes before we have yet another outbreak.