With the start of school fast
approaching, El Dorado County Public Health and school officials are reminding
parents of a new requirement affecting student immunizations. AB 2109, a
California law that went into effect January 1, 2014, requires parents or legal
guardians who wish to waive immunizations for their child to first receive
education on immunizations from a health care provider and complete a new exemption
The new law affects students entering child care or kindergarten, or
advancing into the 7th grade, as well as children transferring into
California schools from another state or country.
Under AB 2109, parents or legal guardians
who choose to waive required immunizations must first meet with a health care
provider to receive education about the benefits and risks of immunizations as
well as the dangers of vaccine preventable diseases. Both the parent or legal
guardian and the health care provider must sign the new Personal Belief
Exemption (PBE) form. The completed PBE form must then be turned in to the
school or child care provider before the student attends, along with a valid record
of any immunizations the student has received.
Health Care providers authorized
by law to sign the PBE form include: Medical Doctors (MD), Doctors of
Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Naturopathic Doctors (ND), Nurse Practitioners (NP)
and Credentialed School Nurses.
“The goal of this new law is to better inform parents about the benefits and risks of
immunizations as well as the diseases that they protect against,” said Lynnan
Svensson, Supervising Public Health Nurse with the El Dorado County Health and
Human Services Agency.
The El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency recently
launched a new “Live.Love.Vaccinate” campaign and website to provide helpful
information about childhood immunizations and the requirements of AB 2109. The
website can be found at www.edcgov.us/publichealth.
Additional information, including questions and answers about AB 2109, can be
found at: www.shotsforschool.org.
Parents should contact their child’s school or child care provider with
specific questions about how and when to turn in immunization information.