Anti-vaccine petitioners – Press Democrat, 7/3/2019

EDITOR: On June 25, my wife and I went to the East Side Farmers’ Market in Petaluma.

We encountered a group of people lobbying for signatures opposing Senate Bill 276. This bill would make it more difficult for parents to exempt their children from childhood immunizations by scrutinizing physicians’ spurious exemptions.

The value of vaccines and the herd immunity that accompanies widespread immunization have been proven incessantly. The danger to public health from even a few unvaccinated children is distinct, as evidenced by outbreaks in New York City and elsewhere.

The individuals at the market have the right to express their opinions. Unfortunately, however, they misrepresented the intent of the bill by claiming that the government is taking over a doctor’s right to issue a medical exemption. Actually, the bill allows the state Department of Public Health, led by a physician, to decide if a physician’s exemption is valid.

A few questions of the petitioners revealed that they were plain, old antivaxxers, selfishly lobbying to continue the dangerous practice avoiding protection against measles and other preventable illnesses.

Consumers shouldn’t be tricked into thinking that SB 276 is about government intrusion.