Today's Law As Amended

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SB-276 Immunizations: medical exemptions.(2019-2020)



SECTION 1.

 Section 120370 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

120370.
 (a) (1)  If the parent or guardian files with the governing authority a written statement by a licensed physician and surgeon  to the effect that the physical condition of the child is such, or medical circumstances relating to the child are such, that immunization is not considered safe, indicating the specific nature and probable duration of the medical condition or circumstances, including, but not limited to, family medical history, for which the physician and surgeon  does not recommend immunization, that child shall be exempt from the requirements of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 120325, but excluding Section 120380) and  this chapter, except for Section 120380, and exempt from  Sections 120400, 120405, 120410, and 120415 to the extent indicated by the physician’s  physician and surgeon’s  statement.
(2)  Commencing January 1, 2021, an exemption issued before January 1, 2021, pursuant to this subdivision is valid only if the parent or guardian has complied with paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 120372.
(b) If there is good cause to believe that a child has been exposed to a disease listed in subdivision (b) of Section 120335 and his or her  the child’s  documentary proof of immunization status does not show proof of immunization against that disease, that child may be temporarily excluded from the school or institution until the local health officer is satisfied that the child is no longer at risk of developing or transmitting the disease.

SEC. 2.

 Section 120372 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

120372.
 (a) (1) By July 1, 2020, the department shall develop and make available for use by licensed physicians and surgeons a statewide standardized medical exemption request form. Notwithstanding Section 120370, commencing January 1, 2021, it shall be the only medical exemption documentation that a governing authority may accept, except as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (c). A medical exemption request form shall be approved or denied only by the State Public Health Officer or the public health officer’s designee, upon a determination that the request provides sufficient medical evidence that the immunization is contraindicated or there exists a specific precaution regarding a particular immunization, based on guidelines of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
(2) At a minimum, the form shall require all of the following information:
(A) The name, medical license number, and business address and telephone number, of the licensed physician and surgeon.
(B) The name of the child for whom the exemption is sought and the name of the child’s parent or guardian.
(C) A statement certifying that the licensed physician and surgeon has personally examined the child.
(D) A description of the medical reason for which the exemption is sought.
(E) An authorization for the release of records related to the medical exemption by the physician and surgeon to the department and the California Medical Board.
(b) (1) Commencing January 1, 2021, if a parent or guardian requests a licensed physician and surgeon to request a medical exemption for the parent’s or guardian’s child, the physician and surgeon shall inform the parent or guardian of the requirements of this section. If the parent or guardian consents, the physician and surgeon shall examine the child and submit a completed medical exemption request form to the department. A medical exemption request form may be submitted to the department at any time.
(2) The State Public Health Officer or designee shall review the completed request form and provide the physician and surgeon with notification approving or denying the medical exemption request. If the medical exemption request is denied, the reason for the denial shall be included in the notification.
(3) The denial of a request for a medical exemption may be appealed to the State Public Health Officer.
(4) For purposes of filing an appeal, the physician and surgeon may submit additional information to the department within 30 days from the notification for further review by the State Public Health Officer or designee.
(c) (1) By December 31, 2020, the department shall create and maintain a database of medical exemption requests approved pursuant to this section. The department shall make the information in the database accessible to local public health officers.
(2) If a medical exemption has been authorized pursuant to Section 120370 prior to the adoption of the statewide standardized form, the parent or guardian shall submit, by December 31, 2020, a copy of that medical exemption to the department for inclusion in the database in order for the medical exemption to remain valid.
(d) If the State Public Health Officer or a local public health officer determines that a medical exemption submitted to the department is fraudulent or inconsistent with applicable CDC guidelines, as specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), the State Public Health Officer or local public health officer may revoke the medical exemption.
(e) The department, in consultation with local educational agencies and local public health officers, shall develop a process for a parent or guardian to request a medical exemption and the department to expeditiously approve or deny the request and communicate its decision in a timely manner to the school district and the parent or guardian.
(f) In administering this section, the department shall comply with all applicable state and federal privacy laws, including, but not limited to, the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (Part 2.6 (commencing with Section 56) of Division 1 of the Civil Code), the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-191), and Sections 827, 5328, and 10850 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(g) This section does not require the department to review or approve any medical exemption that is granted by a physician and surgeon before January 1, 2021.

SEC. 3.

 Section 120375 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

120375.
 (a) The governing authority of each school or institution included in Section 120335 shall require documentary proof of each entrant’s immunization status. The governing authority shall record the immunizations of each new entrant in the entrant’s permanent enrollment and scholarship record on a form provided by the department. The immunization record of each new entrant admitted conditionally shall be reviewed periodically by the governing authority to ensure that within the time periods designated by regulation of the department he or she  the entrant  has been fully immunized against all of the diseases listed in Section 120335, and immunizations received after entry shall be added to the pupil’s immunization record.
(b) The governing authority of each school or institution included in Section 120335 shall prohibit from further attendance any pupil admitted conditionally who failed to obtain the required immunizations within the time limits allowed in the regulations of the department, unless the pupil is exempted under Section 120370,  department  until that pupil has been fully immunized against all of the diseases listed in Section 120335. 120335, unless the pupil is exempted under Section 120370 or 120372. 
(c) The governing authority shall file a written report on the immunization status of new entrants to the school or institution under their jurisdiction with the department and the local health department at times and on forms prescribed by the department. As provided in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 49076 of the Education Code, the local health department shall have access to the complete health information as it relates to immunization of each student in the schools or other institutions listed in Section 120335 in order to determine immunization deficiencies.
(d) The governing authority shall cooperate with the county health officer in carrying out programs for the immunization of persons applying for admission to any school or institution under its jurisdiction. The governing board of any school district may use funds, property, and personnel of the district for that purpose. The governing authority of any school or other institution may permit any licensed physician or any qualified registered nurse to administer immunizing agents to any person seeking admission to any school or institution under its jurisdiction.