From Dr. Bob Sears: California Bill AB2109 Threatens Vaccine Freedom of Choice

Thank you to Dr. Bob Sears for this guest post.

The California Legislature is currently considering a bill that would require parents to obtain their doctor’s signature on a government form prior to enrollment in public school if they wish to skip one or more vaccines for their child. Current law allows parents to decline vaccines by signing an exemption form at the school – no doctor’s signature needed. The new law would require “a written statement signed by a health care practitioner that indicates that the practitioner provided the parent with information regarding the benefits and risks of the immunization and the health risks of specified communicable diseases.”

On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a bad idea. It will require parents to prove that they’ve had an informed discussion with their physician. Most parents already have such discussions anyway. However, what gravely concerns me is that some doctors will refuse to sign this form. I know how doctors think. Many doctors strongly believe that vaccines should be mandatory, and that parents should not have the right to decline vaccines. Some doctors are willing to provide care to unvaccinated kids, despite this difference in philosophy. But now the power over this decision will be put directly into doctors’ hands. He or she can simply refuse to sign the form. Doctors who oppose vaccine freedom of choice have been frustrated for years over this issue. Finally, they will have the power to impose their beliefs on their patients. Patients will be forced to find another doctor to sign the form, submit to vaccines, or get kicked out of public school.

Supporters of this bill believe that all doctors will be willing to sign this form, as the signature does not imply agreement with the parent’s decision; it simply signifies that the doctor has provided the parents with information regarding the pros and cons. I disagree. I know for an absolute fact that some doctors will not sign this form out of principle or over fears of liability.

Parents will be forced to “doctor shop” for another doctor to sign their form. This won’t be easy. Some doctors are reluctant to take new patients who don’t vaccinate. Many doctors will be unwilling to sign an exemption form for a new patient or a patient who is only there for one visit (just to get the form signed). Some doctors get financial incentives from insurance companies for having high vaccination rates into their practice; seeing patients to get their form signed will put such bonuses at risk. How many doctors will parents be expected to call? How many “no’s” will a patient need in order to be allowed into school? Natural and alternative health care providers can NOT sign the form; it must be a “regular” medical professional. Some families only see naturopathic or holistic health care practitioners instead of pediatricians. These families will have a difficult time getting the form signed.

And what will happen to those kids who can’t get their formed signed? They will be denied entry into public school.

The sponsors of this bill may have some good intentions, as their primary “public” reason for the bill is to make sure that parents who don’t vaccinate their children are making an informed medical decision under the guidance of their doctor. But it isn’t difficult to see the REAL reason for the bill: to increase vaccination rates in our state by making it more difficult for parents to claim the exemption. But whatever the reason, this bill will likely NOT increase vaccination rates, nor will it create closer partnerships between doctors and patients. It will create anger, financial hardship, animosity, and further mistrust in our medical system.

For those patients who CAN find a doctor to sign their form, these “doctor-patient lectures” are not going to increase vaccination rates: Parents who are seeking a doctor’s signature have already made up their mind. The doctor isn’t going to change it during a ten minute discussion. The time for a doctor to influence parents’ opinion and trust of vaccines is during the initial well-baby checkups, years before such exemption forms even come into play. By the time a child will enter school, the parents have made up their mind to decline vaccines. A lecture from a doctor at this point won’t matter. It’s a waste of everyone’s time and money. At a time when we are trying to decrease health care spending, this bill will add millions of dollars of extra health care visits for families every year. If this unfortunate bill passes in California, the rest of the country will be soon to follow.

And it’s a government intrusion into our personal freedom to make health care decisions for our children.


Call your California Senator and Assemblyperson now and share your opinion. Here’s an easy way. Go to NVIC Advocacy and you will see a summary of the bill, numerous arguments against it, and see contact information for the members of the Assembly Committee on Health who are involved in this bill.

You can also register to become a member. It’s free! – see step two below the list of the assemblypersons, or click on this link.

After you register, you can click on AB2109 under the Action Needed Now section. You will be given your California Senator and Assemblyperson’s contact information based on your zip code. You can then call or EMAIL to express your opinion.

Thank you for joining me and many others to guard our freedom.

Dr. Bob Sears

Author of The Vaccine Book

Melanie Mayo-Laakso


Melanie Mayo-Laakso is the Content Manager for Mothering is the birthplace of natural family living and attachment parenting. We celebrate the experience of parenthood as worthy of one’s best efforts and are at once fierce advocates for children and gentle supporters of parents.

24 thoughts on “From Dr. Bob Sears: California Bill AB2109 Threatens Vaccine Freedom of Choice”

  1. GOOD! When I went to school in California in the 80’s we were required to be up to date on ALL vaccinations to enroll in school. Whooping cough outbreaks were UNHEARD of. I understand you want whats best for your children but read a book and understand how herd immunity works. Not vaccinating your children for ANY reason besides actual serious allergic reactions puts your child and all the children he/she is with, at risk for things that should not be still passed around in a place like America. The risk of vaccine is much, much less than the risks of Polio, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, etc, etc. Keep not vaccinating your kids and you will see these preventable diseases come back with a vengeance.

  2. Very smart, smart mum. I saddens me how still so many people actually believe everything BIG Brother says….well, good luck to you and your children. Pump ’em full of chemicals and hope for the best. I prefer to trust mother nature more than the wallets of the Pharmaceutical Industry.

  3. The concept of herd immunity has never been proven.

    It would be far more beneficial for scientists to study illness cycles and season vs think a vaccination can rid the world of illness.

    If you look at the odds of contracting any said illness, and then the odds of it causing serious complications, your odds are so slim it’s a little silly to risk the very real and very dangerous side effects.

    Another question I’d also beg one to ponder is why did the pharmaceutical push and gain legal immunity from vaccine damage..I’m not going to games with my child’s health by risking vaccine damage for “the greater good”.

    I’m not against vaccines, just against a narrow perspective that allows you to make your choice but not me to make mine.

    There is a huge amount of room for improvement with the entire vaccine industry/process. Why not put your energy into rallying to fix it rather than focusing on those that have chosen other options to safeguard their health.

  4. “Finally, they will have the power to impose their beliefs on their patients.”

    You really wrote that sentence? Doctors have more than just “beliefs”. They spend an infinite amount of time studying medicine and I’d venture to say that pretty much every one of them is profoundly more qualified to make decisions about their patients’ health than the parents of their patients are. To not vaccinate your children is a form of child abuse/neglect. It’s idiotic, to say the least. I could go on for days about this topic, but will stop here, as I think I’ve made my point.

  5. Perhaps you should talk to some older adults in our society who were paralyzed by polio prior to the polio vaccine. Or, maybe someone who lost a family member to measles, mumps, rubella, polio, smallpox, diphtheria, typhoid, tuberculosis, or any of the other diseases that used to ravage our society before vaccinations were made to immunize people against them. But, if you must, go ahead and let nature run it’s course. Maybe it’ll be a survival of the fittest sort of ending.

  6. if the concept of immunity has never been proven, then why does my state allow exemption of the vaccine w/ proven immunity over the actual vaccine? because the concept of immunity is a valid reason and for those who are pro vaccine (the government) the fact that they accept immunity thru blood testing shows that is is valid proof indeed. yes, coming from the same state that sets the mandates for what vaccines a child ‘needs’ for entering school.

    and smart mom, care to explain why my daughter vomited for three days after the vaccines she did receive? chance? they were two weeks apart. she vomited for three days after each set.

    by the way, normally the children that get whooping cough are the vaccinated ones. the outbreak i last heard of in the news was w/ the children who were vaccinated. the ones that weren’t, well those parents were working with the CDC. I think you failed to realize/mention/or understand that children who are vaccinated get these diseases.

    Also care to explain why my vaccinated neighbor and his sister had measles when they WERE vaccinated for them? Because apparently you did your research. waiting for the reply. Thanks!

  7. Smart Mom. Here are a few interesting links. I think you need to do some more research because vaccines are not as pure and wonderful as you seem to think they are.

    So grab a coffee or tea, get comfy and start reading because you don’t have all the facts. All you have is propaganda brought to you by big medicine. Just like our government officials are bought and paid for by the big corporations so is our medical care and if kids really don’t get sick then they can’t sell you antibiotics, asthma prevention med and everything else. Follow the money.

  8. Really? Tuberculosis? I hope you are aware that there is no vaccine for tuberculosis. It’s rates greatly decreased for the same reason the other diseases became less common: sanitation. As for smallpox, what I was taught in nursing school was that we stopped giving the vaccine because we “eradicated” it. What I know now is that we stopped giving the vaccine because it was killing more people than smallpox was. In the last 30 years, the ONLY cases of recorded polio have been FROM the vaccine. You can look it up.

  9. Gotta love how the government thinks that 12 year olds know enough to make vaccine decisions while their parents do not.

  10. If you look above, I gave “Smart Mom” a bunch of links with some actual FACTS. What you have been told is called “propaganda”. Here is a quote from one of the articles I posted:

    ” Several studies have shown that injections(for antibiotics or other vaccines) increase susceptibility to polio. In fact, researchers have known since the early 1900s that paralytic poliomyelitis often started at the site of an injection [8,9]. When diphtheria and pertussis vaccines were introduced in the 1940s, cases of paralytic poliomyelitis skyrocketed (Figure 1) [10]. This was documented in Lancet and other medical journals [11-13]. In 1949, the Medical Research Council in Great Britain set up a committee to investigate the matter and ultimately concluded that individuals are at increased risk of paralysis for 30 days following injections; injections alter the distribution of paralysis; and it did not matter whether the injections were subcutaneous or intramuscular”

    Then, make sure you read all the stories you can about children affected by “Autism”. Many of these parents (myself included) used to think like you and they did get their children vaccinated. Most of these stories cite reactions in their children within hours of the vaccines. Children who talk and walk and laugh stop doing all of this after their vaccines and the ones who survive end up with multiple chronic illnesses where they need maintenance medication for the rest of their lives. We call these vaccine damaged children “Autistic”

    “Autism” is a spectrum of disorders so there are mild cases like my own son and severe cases and even death due to vaccines. Autism affects 1 in 91 children according to the most recent figures I have found, so when you do the numbers out of the 4,000,000 babies born in the U.S.A. in 2010 (look it up) you are talking about 43,956 children were diagnosed with Autism for one year, and that doesn’t count children like my son who is mild and was told he had “Autistic Tenancies” but did not rate on the scale. If you look at the numbers this is an EPIDEMIC of brain damage caused by toxic poisons in the vaccines! Are you willing to sacrifice 43,956 children every year in our country alone for “the common good?” From my point of view the “good” doesn’t seem that “common” at all.

  11. Apparently because I supplied links my other post is “Awaiting Moderation” hopefully the moderator will log on and put it through so please I urge you to check back later. I posted an article about how the U.S. Senate found the CDC and FDA guilty of misconduct concerning the Mercury in vaccines. Plus lots of other good links. If you can’t get it then try to Google it.

  12. I work with Vaccine records (in a government agency) the sheer number of vaccines some of these kids have had is alarming. I’ve see records for several children under five that are more than three pages long. It’s surely in a child’s best interest to make informed decisions but it’s equally valid for a parent to decline some or all vaccines as it is for a parent to get them all.

    What I find odd is that we are going to require proof that you understand what you’re doing if you choose not to vaccinate but no prof that parents understand what vaccines their children are getting or what the possible side effects of those are.

    Maybe every parent who does choose to vaccinate should have to have a lecture about the ins and outs of every vaccine they want their child to have and provide proof of that.

  13. of course there is a vaccine against tuberculosis – it is called BCG and it is still used in quite a few countries (I certainly had it as a baby, as did all my peers).

  14. I think you need to understand how herd immunity works. you seem to base that off of just children alone. how many adults and elderly are not up to date on vaccines. I know i am not. I had 5 when i was little and no more since. if you factor in every single person in the US, guaranteed there are probably more unvaccinated or not current vaccinated people to actually vaccinated people. it is not just the children you need to worry about. pretty much everyone walking around has vaccines that have worn off (as proven this year that the pertussis vaccine was only good for 3 years). So maybe you should re-read some books to understand exaclty how heard immunity actually works.

  15. There’s a lot of well educated parents and citizens here. CALL and EMAIL your assembymen/women and local representatives!!! Don’t just argue amongst each other. I am tempted to throw in my two cents, but instead I’m going to write some emails to the people voting on this bill to oppose it! VISIT NVIC’s website and they will help guide you.

  16. Smart mom. Clearly you’re not so smart. How many people die each year of whooping cough? There were 10 deaths in Ca in 2010 from whooping cough. All of which were vaccinated. Whopping cough is not a deadly disease in most cases. There are 100,000 deaths per year from medical mistakes. There are 3500 deaths per year of people in cars using their cell phones. And you’re concerned with something that is barely a blip on the radar screen…and something which claims the lives of those who are vaccinated against it? Now, Let’s take polio for example, at it’s PEAK in the 1950’s there were about 3000 cases nationwide. Not deaths, cases. Before the polio vaccine came out the rate had dropped to about 1800 cases of polio that next year. Sounds like mother nature was doing a pretty good job of eradicating polio before the vaccine existed. After the vaccine came out polio skyrocketed again the following year. And since 1979, the only reported cases of polio have been from the vaccine itself. The CDC website will yell you that. Do the math ok? Vaccines aren’t the heroes that marketing tells us they are. I could go on for days. Do more homework before you pop off. Poison your kids for something that doesn’t exist!? I don’t think so. Not on my watch.

  17. Andrea…you are sadly mistaken. Prove to me that vaccines are safe and it’s neglect to not vaccinate against diseases which don’t exist and which aren’t deadly anyway? Have you ever read the inserts to a vaccine? Clearly not. Highly dangerous, poisonous, and offer only up to 80% efficacy rates! By the way, have you gotten all your booster shots in all of your adulthood? Because each shot you get as a child only offers a 2-7 year temporary immunity period. So if you havent continued to get alllllllll your boosters since you were a kid, you are also UNVACCINATED. 99.9999% of all adults don’t keep up with their shots. So the vast majority of us in the USA are UNVACCINATED. Oh no! What to do!!!!!??? How come we aren’t all dying of measles, mumps, whooping cough, polio!? Because diseases run their course and they die out. And mother nature and our own immune systems are better at taking care of these than we stupid humans are. How many people die each year of whooping cough? There were 10 deaths in Ca in 2010 from whooping cough. All of which were vaccinated. Whopping cough is not a deadly disease in most cases. There are 100,000 deaths per year from medical mistakes. There are 3500 deaths per year of people in cars using their cell phones. And you

  18. Jcasto- if vaccines have absolutely nothing to do with autism, explain how we have a 1/166 ratio of children with autism now, and unvaccinated populations have almost zero!? Really? And why does it say on the package inserts for vaccines that autism is a side effect of the vaccines!? Doctors don’t read the inserts. They just do what the money tells them to do. And apparently us stupid humans don’t read the inserts either. We are just sheeple who go along with the program and also listen to the media like it’s god. Do some real homework, then you can pop off…

  19. The bill is an insult. It is draconian, and the counsel established is a thinly disguised additional opportunity to foist the vaccine industry dogma on parents, as though the continual media barrage weren’t enough. It also paints a picture of non-vaxers as somehow deficient in understanding, as though the counseling might have a therapeutic effect and bring the parent to her senses. It would move the law in the exact opposite direction we who have researched know it should head; toward formalization of the vaccine information process – toward mandate of provision of all known negative vaccine information, toward provision of said information in such a fashion as to give parents ample opportunity to question and research before scheduled vaccinations, toward legal penalty for misrepresentation of the existing state law, and toward elimination of any required vaccine refusal signature.

    And, ultimately, toward complete cessation of what appears to be an archaic and basically destructive paradigm that has been co-opted by powers who know this to be the case yet continue to propel and expand the vaccination program, beyond what can be explained by mere monetary greed.

  20. Have you seen a normal bubbly baby turn become vegetative after Hib meningitis? Have you seen a healthy 8 yr old lose his hearing after pneumococcal meningitis? Have you witnessed a 4 yr old die in the PICU from disseminated chicken pox? I have, and every case could have been prevented by a vaccine each child did not get. By the way, smallpox was eradicated, I thought everyone knew that. The oral polio vaccine is no longer administered in the Western hemisphere because the only known cases were from the live virus. Only the inactivated virus is given now, except in endemic areas of the world. No, those cases in the Eastern hemisphere are NOT from the vaccine.And who made Dr Sears an expert on vaccines? I can tell you his knowledge base is less than that of a medical student. He promotes himself well, but is a dangerously ignorant man. Go to an old graveyard anywhere in the US and look at the gravestones- notice how many babies and children died. Most from diseases we vaccinate against today. And whooping cough is still a potentially fatal disease in young infants, along with other diseases included in the 2 month vaccines.

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