World Immunization Week is celebrated each year during the last week of April and aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.
In an article published by the UN News Center, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) progress towards global vaccination targets for 2015 is “far off track.” Approximately 20% of children do not currently receive routine immunizations, which could potentially prevent 1.5 million deaths annually from vaccine-preventable diseases.
This year World Immunization Week focuses on closing the immunization gap and reaching equity in immunization levels as outlined in the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP). The Global Vaccine Action Plan envisions a world where everyone lives life free from vaccine preventable diseases by 2020. It had set six targets for 2015:
Immunization against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough (DTP3)
- Target: 90% immunization coverage against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough by 2015.
- Gap: 65 countries
Introduction of under-utilized vaccines
- Target: At least 90 low or middle income countries to have introduced one or more under-utilized vaccines by 2015.ON TRACK
- Target: No new cases after 2014
- Gap: 3 countries remain polio endemic
Maternal and neonatal tetanus: Global elimination by end-2015
- Target: Eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus
- Gap: 24 countries
- Target: Eliminate from three WHO regions by end-2015
- Gap: 16% of all children are not being immunized against measles
- Target: Eliminate rubella from two WHO regions by end-2015
- Gap: Half of all children do not receive the rubella vaccine
Join us in honoring World Immunization Week and working toward a healthy local and global community!
Time to get back to the phone. The next vote is for the Senate Judiciary Committee, and with a new group of senators!
We all need to call these Senators to begin expressing support. You just have to state your name, your city, and that you stand with California PTA and school nurses in support of #SB277.
Our other goal for the week is to continue to increase our numbers. When you are done with your calls, write a letter and then PLEASE FORWARD this to three people, and ask them to sign up to support with us. Directing people to the site is important – we ensure that your letters get to the right people!
A little background on the vote – Senators Pan and Allen worked with the Education Committee this week and drafted amendments to clarify the bill and make clear that people who choose not to vaccinate their kids will still have lots of homeschooling opportunities available. More information is available here.
We all share in our public health, and with #SB277 we are protecting our families and our communities. Thank you!!
Write a letter!
Please join us in advocating for SB277. Our community needs your help today!
- April 8 – Senate Health Committee Hearing – Approved by 6 – 2 vote!
- April 15 @ 9 AM – Senate Education Committee Hearing **TOMORROW!**
- April 21 (Tentative) – Senate Judicial Committee Hearing
Ways to Take Action:
*Attend a Senate Committee Hearing
*Submit an online letter to your representative using this form.
*Call or Email your senators on these committees to urge a yes vote on the bill. The most effective calls would be to these senators from their constituents (listed below). Phone calls should be short and respectful. No talking points are required; just telling the receptionist you are a constituent and calling to support SB 277 is enough. If you have friends or family in these districts, please encourage them to call their senators!
*Fax your personal or organizational letters of support now! Letters should arrive by Wed 15th BY noon!
*Tell others in your community: Call to Action–SB277 Flyer
*Tweet your legislators, post on their Facebook page. Other people might see your messages and chime in. It’s a small action that can help gather more support for what you’re trying to accomplish and engage those who might otherwise have stayed on the sidelines.
*Join the Marin Immunization Coalition Facebook Group!
*Follow Marin Immunization (IZ) Coalition on Twitter: @MarinIZCo #vaccineswork & #sb277
Contact Information for Senators on the Committees:
|Education Committee — Hearing Scheduled for April 15 @ 9 AM — Fax: (916) 445-7799
|Carol Liu (Chair)
||Los Angeles, San Bernardino
|Bob Huff (Vice Chair)
||Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino
||Alameda, Berkeley, Contra Costa
||Los Angeles, San Bernardino
||Los Angeles, Orange
||Fresno, Kern, Kings, Tulare
|Judiciary Committee — Hearing Tentatively Scheduled for April 21 — Fax: (916) 403-7394
|Hannah-Beth Jackson (Chair)
||Santa Barbara, Ventura
|Andy Vidak (Vice Chair)
||Fresno, Kern, Kings, Tulare
||San Francisco, San Mateo
||Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz
||Alameda, Santa Clara
California State Sen. Richard Pan is a co-author of Senate Bill 277, new legislation that would eliminate the Personal Belief Exemption (PBE) that currently allows parents of children in school or childcare to opt out of the vaccinating their children for personal or religious beliefs.
California is one of the 17 states with personal belief exemptions (PBEs). In January 2014, a new law, AB 2109, expanded the requirements to obtain a personal belief exemption. Currently, parents who object to vaccinating their children must consult with a licensed healthcare practitioner regarding the health risks to the child and to the community of the communicable diseases, and the benefits and risks of immunization. In addition, the parent must sign an affidavit to acknowledge the understanding that an unimmunized student may be excluded from attending childcare or school in the case of an exposure to any of the diseases covered by the required immunizations in order to protect the student and others.
However, when more and more children are unvaccinated, the proportion of immune individuals in our community decreases, and we lose our “community immunity” or “herd immunity.” Community immunity refers to the threshold of immune individuals present in a population necessary to avoid diseases from spreading throughout the community. This leaves unvaccinated individuals, such as those who are too young to be vaccinated or have weakened immune systems and so cannot be vaccinated, vulnerable.
California has recently experienced serious outbreaks of two vaccine-preventable diseases, pertussis (whooping cough) and measles, both diseases which were considered eradicated. Parents who opt out of vaccinating not only put their own children and families at risk of vaccine-preventable illness, but also the fellow members of the community.
Learn more about SB277 from VaccinateCalifornia.org
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