Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Vaccine Exemptions in California: How Many Exemptions, and How Much Will They Cost? re AB 2109

Bob Sears is a vaccine-rejecting physician.  In a post claiming California Bill AB2109 Threatens Vaccine Freedom of Choice, Sears claimed:
At a time when we are trying to decrease health care spending, this bill will add millions of dollars of extra health care visits for families every year.
I haven't seen anyone quantify the numbers of exemptions and the costs yet.  The bill would become effective as of the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.  As of the 2010-2011 school year (the last year rates were published) over the whole state, an average of 2.28% of incoming kindergarteners' parents had a Personal Belief Exemption

There are at least two times that families have to provide proof of immunization or an approved exemption, at the beginning of kindergarten (required vaccines) and at the beginning of 7th grade (TdaP-- whooping cough booster)

According to California state records: at
566,137 live births in 2007 (estimate for incoming kindergarteners in fall of 2013)
529,245 live births in 2002 (estimate for incoming 7th graders in fall 2013)
566,137* 0.0228 = 12,680 (with rounding)
529,245** 0.0228 =12,067 (with rounding)
Let's say AB 2109 passes, and let's just round up to 25,000 students whose parents are refusing vaccines who require a signed form from an MD, DO, Physician's Assistant or Nurse Practioner (yes, the latter two can provide the education and sign the form.   "Millions of dollars" -- well, that would be at least $2 million.  Therefore:
25,000 * X = 2,000,000
X= $80.00
I'm trying to find out what the largest HMO in California, Kaiser Permanente, charges for a drop-in vaccine clinic visit, without success so far.

My own provider, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, offers a host of classes on various parenting topics.  The baby-safety basics class is two hours and costs $40.00. So I believe that the cost to vaccine-refusing parents of complying with the provisions in AB 2109 would be far less than $80.00.

The decision not to vaccinate has dollar costs also.  The 2008 San Diego measles outbreak (which originated with an intentionally unvaccinated child who was a patient of Bob Sears) was quantified:
The importation resulted in 839 exposed persons, 11 additional cases (all in unvaccinated children), and the hospitalization of an infant too young to be vaccinated. Two-dose vaccination coverage of 95%, absence of vaccine failure, and a vigorous outbreak response halted spread beyond the third generation, at a net public-sector cost of $10376 per case. Although 75% of the cases were of persons who were intentionally unvaccinated, 48 children too young to be vaccinated were quarantined, at an average family cost of $775 per child.
 That's a healthy chunk of change for a family, $775.

No comments:

Post a Comment