Upcoming Events


Ojai Chautauqua Continuing Series on Education – Public and Private Good:
Do Mandatory Vaccinations Make Sense?

This event has been postponed to 2020. The new date will be announced.

What does the vaccination data show in general? What are the main concerns with vaccinations? Do mandated vaccinations infringe on the right to privacy? Do mandated vaccinations achieve a balance between public and private good?

Before the 2015-2016 school year, if parents in California did not wish for their children to be vaccinated, they could opt out by submitting a belief exemption form. During this period, the percentage of public school kindergarten students who were immunized was below the generally accepted threshold of community immunity (95%). In 2015-2016, California passed a law requiring every child taught in school classrooms (public or private) to be fully immunized against 10 diseases, disallowing the personal belief exemption, and making it only the third state at the time to have this requirement. Medical exceptions continued to be allowed.

After this change, medical exceptions tripled (0.2% to 0.7% of students). In September 2019, California passed legislation attempting to curb the medical exemption trend by placing a cap on how many exceptions a doctor can issue, providing state oversight on medical exemptions, and setting an investigation protocol for schools that fall below the 95% vaccination threshold.

This panel, with representatives from public health, the medical community, school leadership, vaccine safety advocacies, and legislative authorities will discuss the complicated and contentious issue of mandated vaccinations. We hope you will join us as we explore these issues in the spirit of thoughtful inquiry and civil discourse.