California used to be one of the few states that made it easy to get a personal exemption to opt out of vaccinations. In 2014, that will change.
On January 1, a new law will go into effect in the state that will require parents who file a personal belief exemption to include a document signed by a doctor or other approved medical practitioner acknowledging they have been educated about the pros and cons of vaccines.
Dr. Dean Blumberg, a physician at UC Davis Medical Center, testified in support of the new law. He believes that most children should be vaccinated:
“Immunizations work and children do benefit. I thought the law was a good one. I was all for it.”
It may come as a surprise, then, that Dr. Blumberg has decided to open a clinic for parents who wish to opt out of vaccinating their children.
The clinic will provide parents with the counseling and signatures the law requires to enroll unvaccinated children in school.
Why did Dr. Blumberg decide to provide such a service?
The passionate parents who came forward to testify against the new law inspired him, as he explained to the Sacramento Bee:
“I’m pro-immunization, but I’m also in support of parental rights. That’s why we decided to set up the clinic as a community service, in case there are parents whose health care provider won’t sign the form or some parents who don’t have a primary care provider.”
Dr. Blumberg said he believes that most of the parents that visit the clinic will already have made up their minds about vaccinations, and he doesn’t intend to try force them to change their minds:
“There will be discussions about the risks and benefits. I don’t plan on trying to force somebody.”
Barbara Loe Fisher is the co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a nonprofit organization that supports vaccination freedom of choice. She opposed the law, but said she is encouraged by the “public service” Dr. Blumberg is providing, citing concerns about physicians refusing to sign the forms or denying care to those who choose to opt out of vaccinations.
Dr. Blumberg said he does not intend to offer shots at the clinic:
“I would encourage them (parents) to get a physician and to get a medical home.”
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Contributed by Lily Dane of The Daily Sheeple.
Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”