What we do
We speak as parents to encourage immunization to protect children and communities from preventable disease.
We are a resource for parents on vaccines and the diseases they prevent.
We partner with other organizations to improve public health in California.
Leah Russin Co-Founder, Director
I am a lawyer turned full-time mom to a toddler. My background includes environmental policy and litigation as well as teaching high school math and science. I began Vaccinate California to give a voice to the parents who want to re-build our community immunity.
Hannah Henry Co-Founder, Creative
I am a designer, educator, and mother. I was co-lead on the Moveon.org petition for requiring vaccines for schools and helped found Vaccinate California and created the I <3 immunity logo. I am the visual strategist and web designer for Vaccinate California.
Renee Diresta Co-Founder, Data Analysis & Social Media
I’m a data geek and got involved with Vaccinate California after doing some analyses of CA Dept of Public Health data when looking for preschools for my son. I work in tech and finance. I manage the social media accounts for Vaccinate California.
Jennifer Wonnacott Co-Founder, Press Relations
I am a mom to two young boys. The past year was scary with my youngest being too young to fully vaccinate, part of the reason I support SB 277. With a background in politics and public relations, I have been helping Vaccinate California with media and ensure the parents who support vaccines are heard.
January 5, the first measles case reported connected with the Disneyland outbreak. On January 5, 2015, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) was notified about a suspected measles case. The patient was a hospitalized, unvaccinated child, aged 11 years with rash onset on December 28. The only notable travel history during the exposure period was a visit to one of two adjacent Disney theme parks located in Orange County, California. On the same day, CDPH received reports of four additional suspected measles cases in California residents and two in Utah residents, all of whom reported visiting one or both Disney theme parks during December 17–20. By January 7, seven California measles cases had been confirmed, and CDPH issued a press release and an Epidemic Information Exchange (Epi-X) notification to other states regarding this outbreak. Measles transmission is ongoing.
February 3rd, Vaccinate California is formed.
February 25th, Vaccinate California Co-founder Hannah Henry presents MoveOn.org petition with over 20,000 signatures to Dr. Pan and Senator Allen, supporting legislation to strengthen immunization laws.
April 8th, SB277 passes Senate Health Committee
Vaccinate California Co-Founder and Executive Director Leah Russin testifies in support of the bill, followed by many many volunteer supporters
April 22, SB277 passes Senate Education Committee
April 28, SB277 passes Senate Judiciary Committee
May 14, SB277 passes Senate floor.
June 9th, SB277 passes Assembly Health Committee. Vaccinate California Co-Founder Hannah Henry testifies in support of the bill, followed by many many volunteer supporters.
My 2 year-old son, Gideon, has been sick since the day he was born. First, it was weight gain, or lack there of. We discussed a feeding tube, but at the time it seemed so daunting. Little did we know that this feeding problem would portend health problems that would make tube feeding seem like […]
Since SB277 passed our core volunteers have been engaged in various efforts to improve public health in our communities from speaking engagements to developing educational materials with our allies in public health. We are available to speak with groups in other states that would like to learn about our experience. We are happy to report […]
Yesterday the Senate voted to approve the amendments to the bill, today Governor Brown signed SB277 into law. (Press Release Here) Many of our core volunteer group came to a press conference where we celebrated this momentous occasion for public health. We are so grateful to the courageous leadership of Senators Pan and Allen, Assemblywoman […]