- ME —
- medical exemption
- SB277 —
- Senate Bill 277
Vaccines are safe, >1000 times safer than the diseases they prevent. Protection from vaccines extends beyond individuals when vaccination rates are high enough to confer community immunity. However, vaccine risks may be too high for a few people, for example, those with a known severe allergy to a vaccine. Public health and medical experts have identified contraindications and precautions for each vaccine based on data from extensive postapproval monitoring that reveal actual or theoretical risk.1 Some conditions are so uncommon that despite years of administration of millions of vaccine doses, it is still unclear whether the condition is truly associated with the vaccine; but out of an abundance of caution, those conditions may be listed as a vaccine precaution.
The passage of Senate Bill 277 (SB277) in 2015 abolished all nonmedical exemptions in California. SB277 proved to be a great success, with sharp increases in vaccination rates seen in kindergarteners entering school. For the 2014–2015 school year, when the Disneyland measles outbreak occurred and SB277 was introduced and passed into law, the statewide kindergarten full-vaccination rate was only 90.4%,2 below the 94% needed for community immunity to measles. After the passage of SB277, the kindergarten full-vaccination rate for the 2015–2016 school year rose to 92.6%, …
Address correspondence to Richard J. Pan, MD, MPH, State Capitol, Room 5114, Sacramento, CA 95814. E-mail: