California governor, lawmaker alter proposed vaccine rules to crack down on fraudulent exemptions

FILE - In this May 22, 2019, file photo, State Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, left, calls on lawmakers to approve his measure to toughen the rules for vaccination exemptions in Sacramento, Calif. California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state lawmaker have agreed to limit the role of public health officials in approving doctors' vaccine decisions. But the health officials will increase their oversight of doctors and schools with high numbers of medical exemptions. Pan announced the changes Tuesday, June 18 after Newsom said he had doubts about giving state public health officials instead of local doctors the authority to decide which children can skip their shots before attending school. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California public health officials would have more oversight of doctors and schools with high numbers of medical exemptions for vaccinations under a legislative compromise announced Tuesday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom and the bill's author disclosed the deal aimed at cracking down on fraudulent exemptions issued by sympathetic doctors.

The updated measure by Sen. Richard Pan removes a provision that would have required health officials to consider every exemption requested and expands the criteria for granting exemptions.

The California bill is aimed at deterring "doctor-shopping." Proponents, including medical and pediatric associations, said some doctors have been selling immunization exemptions since California ended non-medical exemptions in 2016.

Under the amended bill, health officials would take a targeted approach, concentrating on doctors who write five or more exemptions each year and schools with a vaccination rate below 95 percent.

Newsom,