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By Lauren Dunn and Linda Carroll
Alyssa Hernandez is often worried about her 2-year-old son Noah leaving her home in Sacramento, California. The little boy, who had a liver transplant at the age of 6 months, can not be vaccinated against a range of diseases, including highly contagious measles, because his immune system is suppressed by the transplant.
"I'm afraid to bring him out," Hernandez said. "I'm afraid to let him go to school because you do not know what's around him."
As parts of the US experience some of the worst measles outbreaks in years ̵
In California, more and more parents are finding ways to prevent vaccinations for their children with the surprising support of physicians, a recent study found.
Despite a California law passed after the Disneyland measles outbreak in 2015, the vaccine exemptions for the "personal beliefs" for children who go to school have been eliminated in the country Low vaccination rates developed. In a number of counties, less than 90 percent are reported, which is necessary to achieve herd immunity. This is the case when enough people are vaccinated against infectious diseases to protect others in the community who do not.
This is probably due to a medical examination published in October in the journal Pediatrics, a medical exemption – a medical note that allows a child to go to school without the required vaccinations. In some schools, the medical exemption rate is up to 20 percent, according to the California Department of Public Health.
It is known that some of these doctors call some of these doctors for whom no exam or assessment is required. They pay the money and they get the medical exemption.
Californian parents who reject immunization have found a way to circumvent the law with the help of doctors who want to write medical exceptions for children who do not need it. The pediatrics study found that some medical exceptions were given with insufficient justification, e.g. B. "Family history of allergies and family history of autoimmune diseases".
Selling Medical Exceptions
The study found that the exemptions were triggered by physicians who normally do not treat children and "came from doctors who had charged fees".
While some physicians seemed to charge a single fee for a permanent exemption, the researchers found that some gave temporary exceptions, for about three months each, and then charged a new fee for each additional exemption Richard Pan, a pediatrician representing the 6th district of California, accuses a "handful of doctors" of having undermined the effects of the vaccine law by exploiting a loophole.
Exception, you do not really have to give the exact reason, "said Pan. "You must indicate for which vaccines you are applying the exemption and for what period the derogation actually applies. It is well known that some of these doctors call a few doctors who do not require an exam or assessment. You pay the money and they give you the medical exemption.
Even if certain reasons for medical exemption are stated, the conditions mentioned do not coincide with the science of vaccines. Erica Pan, Interim Alameda County Health Officer and Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco. Richard Pan is not related.
When immunization rates drop, children like Noah Hernandez, who are unable to get a shot either because of a weakened immune system or because of their young age, are at risk, she said. In the case of whooping cough, "infants are fully vaccinated only after infancy," said Pan. "You have the highest risk of hospitalization or even death. They need protection for the community. "
Richard Pan does not wobble when he talks about this Doctors sell exceptions: "What we need to realize is that many of the doctors who have broken their oath do so for their paperback. It is not based on their expertise. They monetize their license, "he told NBC News.
An Internet search found a number of websites for doctors who are against vaccinations.
One of them listed" vaccine-electing physicians by state, "while other parents Learn more about exceptions.
A Web site run by Dr. Kelly Sutton states, "Finally … The step-by-step program to help protect your child from the California one-size-fits-all vaccine mandate ! "
The site provides parents with" the tools and knowledge you need to protect their parenting rights to choose their children's health care, "and promotes Sutton's" EXCLUSIVE program for only $ 97. "
In a video on the site, Sutton asks, "With the passing of Law SB277, you are overcoming the fear that your children will be forcibly vaccinated?"
Sutton claims that she is no exception Instead, he will conduct a more extensive visit, which will include a detailed study and vaccination training  "Due to consistent under-reporting of vaccination reactions in the United States, a physician should not assume that a previous vaccination reaction or injury is documented in a patient record "Sutton said in an email to NBC News. "Accordingly, it is up to physicians to thoroughly investigate these matters."
The vaccine and health experts are disturbed by the new developments in California.
"When the Legislature closed the loophole [personal belief exemption]I was very excited." Peter Hotez, co-director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and author of "Vaccines Did not Cause Rachel's Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Researcher, Pediatrician and Autism Father."
"One thing I never noticed That doctors would write fake medical exemptions, "said Hotez. "That's very scary."
One solution could be government medical bodies, Hotez said.
The Medical Board of California is investigating allegations that doctors are inappropriately issuing exemptions for required vaccinations, spokesman Carlos Villatoro said in an email
"One of the challenges that the board faces with these types of ailments is in that the patient's parents often do not apply to the board for medical exemption, "Villatoro said. The chamber must be able to prove a good reason to issue a summons for medical records. "
Even the notion that some physicians might" sell "exceptions to anti-Vax parents" makes me embarrassed by the job, "Albert Wu, internist and professor of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
"Before there was a vaccine, there were 3 to 4 million people. Le infected with measles, 50,000 in the hospital, 500 died and died much more from diseases like encephalitis," Wu said.