A San Diego doctor who has written about 1,000 vaccine exemptions since 2015 faces charges of repeated negligence on the part of the Medical Board of California.
Dr. Tara Zandvliet is San Diego's greatest physician for the anti-vaxxer movement, especially in schools in the city, where she wrote nearly a third of vaccine exemptions for kids. Now state health authorities are questioning their methods by filing a four-part complaint the voice of San Diego, accusing him of serious and repeated negligence, of non-record keeping and unprofessional conduct.
In 2016, the father of a four-year-old girl sought Zandvliet's help to exempt her daughter from the vaccines, according to the state's lawsuit filed this month. The girl, called patient A, had already received some vaccines, without any of the undesirable effects that the anti-vaccination movement can cause with vaccination.
Nevertheless, Patient A's father sought to exempt him from the necessary injections for enrollment in kindergarten. Zandvliet allegedly sent him a link to his website, which contained a long list of diseases, allergies and skin problems. If A's father could "find 4 or more family members" affected by these conditions, "I could say that she probably inherited a tendency to an overly reactive immune system," wrote Zandvliet. , according to the complaint.
A's father replied that his grandmother was suffering from asthma and psoriasis, that his mother was suffering from asthma and adverse reactions to some pain medications, that his half-brother "had Asthma when he was younger "and that his uncle had allergies to dander and cat dust. "Do you think that would be permissible? He asked in an email.
Zandvliet said that he would do it. A's father then sent him letters from three family members testifying to their illness and a one-page medical file from his uncle.
"All this looks fantastic!" Writes Zandvliet about the documentation. "Good job! I put you on the list of qualified and documented people." During the month, without having met or examined A, Zandvliet wrote an e-mail authorizing him to benefit from a vaccination waiver .
"I certify under penalty of perjury that I have personally examined the relevant medical records of the family of patient A and found that she qualified under California law SB277 for a medical exemption from vaccines," she wrote.
If the decision was questionable in 2016, it would be subject to further examination today. Following reports in the media, Zandvliet removed a number of family medical problems (including psoriasis and asthma) that she had used to deliver the vaccine against A.
The new medical board file is not a criminal complaint, but it could lose its license. Zandvliet did not return a request for comment on Wednesday. She already said the voice that she recommends parents to vaccinate their children.
"I can not force them to do anything. But I can recommend it, "she said of vaccination, adding that skipping vaccines" poses a risk to public health. This is absolutely. Each school must be more than 95% vaccinated. "
Doctors cite the 95% figure as a baseline for establishing "collective immunity" in a community. When 95% or more of the population is vaccinated, it is unlikely that the disease will spread to the remaining 5% of unvaccinated people (often infants, the elderly and people with diseases that prevent vaccination).
Despite medical recommendations, vaccination rates have dropped in California after a 2015 law allows parents to exempt their children from their personal beliefs. More than a dozen Nursery schools in San Diego have a measles or whooping cough vaccination rate of less than 95%, including a school with a measles immunization rate of 50%.
A new law of state, effective in 2021, would allow the state to intervene when a school's vaccination rate falls below 95% or if a doctor writes more than five vaccine exemptions a year.
Despite Zanvliet's claim to promote vaccines, his conversations with patients include misinformation about immunization, including a myth about aluminum in vaccines, according to the medical committee's complaint.
She also reportedly told parents to "follow (their) intestines" when deciding to vaccinate each child and claimed to have used the same reasons as her own daughter, who was sure to "catch the flu this year and die" . because she had "felt in her bones … it's a pretty strong bowel feeling." So I gave him the shot.
In the case of A, the vaccines seem to have been a matter of contention in the family. A's parents are divorced, and when the girl's mother learned the exemption, she asked Zandvliet if she had made a medical record. "I did not resort to the falsification of medical documents, wrote Zandvliet, according to the complaint of the medical committee. "I have the records directly from the doctor."
It was not true, says the medical commission. The only medical records of the family she received came from the grand-uncle of the girl. These records indicated that he was suffering from psoriasis and dermatitis, which Zandvliet no longer allows exemptions.
Finally, after granting the exemption, Zandvliet conducted a brief examination of A, which consisted of watching her play with toys. "The respondent has found no evidence of autoimmune disorder in patient A," the complaint alleged.