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Smallpox Alert!

FAQ for CDPH 8261 (01/11),
the new California Tdap Personal Beliefs Exemption form
for Whooping Cough/Pertussis
Has the California Exemption law changed?

What is the CDPH 8261?

When do I use CDPH 8261?

When do I use pm286b?

Where do I obtain CDPH 8261?

What if my school district says there is no exemption for the new Tdap vaccine?

What does CDPH look like?

What does California law require for vaccine exemptions?

Should I leave the wording of CDPH 8261 as it stands?

More Information


Has the California Exemption law changed?
No. The exemption part of California Statute Code has not changed. However there are additional vaccines "required" and for the Personal Beliefs Exemption there is a new form, CDPH 8261 available for grades 7-12.
For the wording of the law:
Goto http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=hsc&group=120001-121000&file=120325-120380

For the exemption section see CA codes Health and Safety Code 120365.
"... files with the governing authority a letter or affidavit stating that the immunization is contrary to his or her beliefs."

What is the CDPH 8261?
CDPH 8261 is the Personal Beliefs Exemption form for Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Booster Immunization (Tdap) Requirement. On July 1, 2011 this form is required for personal beliefs exemption for students entering grades 7-12 in California.

When do I use CDPH 8261?
From July 1, 2011 thru June 31, 2012, students entering grades 7-12 must either receive the Tdap vaccine, or submit a medical exemption or a Personal Beliefs exemption. The Personal Beliefs exemption (PBE) should* be filed on CDPH 8261.

On July 1, 2012 and after only children entering the 7th grade need the Tdap vaccine or an exemption.

See California Department of Education (CDE) site for further information:
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/pertussis.asp

* California Statutue law, section 120365 states
"... files with the governing authority a letter or affidavit stating that the immunization is contrary to his or her beliefs."
Statutue law does not require the letter or affidavit to be filed on CDPH's form.

When do I use pm286b?
PM 286b is the regular Immunization Record form with a Personal Beliefs Exemption Affidavit on the back of the form. This form continues to be the form for exemptions to all vaccinations in California, other than the school pertussis booster. This form (pb 286b) will be used to record the Tdap status by using a sticker affixed to the front of the form. School staff will take care of this requirement.

Where do I obtain CDPH 8261?
All California schools should have been sent copies of CDPH 8261 in January 2011. If your school district does not have copies, see next Q and A.

Note: At this time CDPH 8261 is not posted online and CDPH wants parents to receive this form from your school district.

What if my school district says there is no exemption for the new Tdap vaccine?
Suggestions:
If your school has not received the CDPH 8261 forms yet, then your county health department should be able to help.
Contact numbers are posted at:
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/immunize/Pages/CaliforniaLocalHealthDepartments.aspx

See the bottom of http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/el/le/yr11ltr0201.asp
for a letter from the CDE with contact numbers for CDPH and the CA School Nurse Consulant.

People in California who are willing to help with exemptions are posted here: vaclib.org/legal/stateresource.htm#c

Contact VacLib.org/VaccineTruth.net for exemption information:
http://www.vaclib.org/perl/perlmail.pl

NVIC Advocacy Portal
will have a list of individuals active with California exemption issues. Send a message asking to be put in touch with someone in your county or school district who can help with California exemptions.
http://nvicadvocacy.org/members/Members/ContactUs.aspx

What does CDPH 8261 look like?
[***5May13 Update in 8261 form order of statements]


Click Here for a larger size image.

For more information and larger images see, Organic Outreach. Note: this PDF file is 3.0 MB in size.
http://sdiz.org/documents/Sch-CC/AB_354_Webinar_12-8-10.pdf

What does California law require for vaccine exemptions?
A link to the statutue law can befound here.

Should I leave the wording of CDPH 8261 as it stands?
Note sentence 2 in the form: [***5May13 Update]
"The unimmunized child and the child’s contacts at school and home are at a greater risk of becoming sick with pertussis which can be life-threatening for young infants and can cause prolonged illness at any age."

The sentence above is a belief of the CDPH but may not be the belief of the parents who sign CDPH 8261. Also, if it were true that non-vaccinated children are unimmunized and actually posed a threat to other children, then signing such a statement would be an admission of "child abuse."

At VacLib we believe several things:
Parents should sign only statements that they believe.
Parents should not sign statements that are possibly self incriminating. See here for more information.
The following appear to be opinions of CDPH: Unvaccinated = unimmunized, the Tdap booster will prevent pertussis, no other way than vaccination exists to immunize, etc.
    Suggestion, pick one of the following courses of action: [This is not legal advice, but is for your convenience.]
  • 1. Sign the form as is.

  • 2. Or cross out sentence two in the form.

  • 3. Or print above sentence two, something like this: [***5May13 Update]
        I acknowledge that I have read the following two statements made by the CDPH:
    [This suggestion is graphically illustrated below.

  • 4. You may wish to write your own affidavit. (Show the school the law, section 120365)

  • 5. You may wish to consult your legal council before signing the form.
*** [Update]: 17 May 2013, we received a note from a California parent stating that the form we show here was 'slightly different than what I just received from the school. The order of the sentences is different - with the last sentence being, “I hereby request exemption....”'

Additional informative links
"Bad Mommy Form" is coming to California schools ...
mothering.com/.../bad-mommy-form-is-coming-to-california-schools

IMM-1038 PBE form instructions to School Staff.