A Mother’s Battle Against Anti-Vaxxers in California

Brooke Balck was born with a compromised immune system. She takes immunosuppressants, and cannot have vaccines, making her especially vulnerable to the spread of infectious diseases, like measles. Shortly after a measles outbreak at Disneyland, Brooke’s mother, Jenny, took the fight for her daughter’s health to the California legislature.

On September 9, of last year, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 276 tightening medical exemptions for children attending schools. The results afterward were disturbing, with some of the law’s opponents, harassing, intimidating, and even assaulting state legislators. Unfortunately, prior to the new statute, a few doctors in the Golden State were dispensing exemptions that put children, like Brooke, at risk.

According to The Washington Post, California’s new law creates a standardized medical exemption request form to be approved by the state’s public health officer. It also allows the health department to review requests for medical exemptions at schools where less than 95 percent of students are vaccinated, at schools that do not report their vaccination rates and from doctors who have written five or more waivers in a given year.

The below video describes Jenny Balke’s efforts. Also of note, environmentalist, Democrat politician, and vaccine opponent Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. was also on hand to oppose SB 276 as well.

PHOTO CREDIT: A Filipino baby with measles By CDC Global, Jim Goodson, M.P.H. – Measles is no joke, https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=17980, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76594880