Medical Board Investigating Doctor Who Wrote One-Third of SDUSD Vaccine Exemptions

Dr. Tara Zandvliet is being charged with gross negligence, failure to maintain adequate and accurate records, and unprofessional conduct, according to court records obtained by NBC 7

A South Park doctor who wrote a third of the vaccine exemptions for San Diego Unified students is now under investigation by California’s Medical Board.

Dr. Tara Zandvliet is being charged with gross negligence, failure to maintain adequate and accurate records, and unprofessional conduct, according to court records obtained by NBC 7.

In the medical board’s complaint, a specific case is detailed.

A patient was given a vaccine exemption by using her great grandmother’s history of asthma and psoriasis and her uncle’s medical history of eczema and allergies to cat dander. Most doctors don’t agree that the family medical history is enough.

“If a physician feels that the guidelines don’t apply to an individual and they think that that individual should be exempted, they need to have significant justification for that, not some remote family history,” said Dr. Ted Mazer, former President of the California Medical Association.

The medical board is calling for serious consequences for Zandvliet. She could have her license to practice revoked. If she is put on probation, she will have to cover the costs of monitoring.

NBC 7’s media partner, the Voice of San Diego (VOSD), found that the San Diego Unified School District has approved 486 medical exemptions to the vaccine requirement since 2015.

According to Zandvliet’s website, children will be considered for an exemption if four relatives in their extended family have one of several autoimmune conditions.

Hives, food, bee stings and other allergies might also qualify a student for an exemption.

"They are paying me for my time. They are paying me for my opinion. They are not paying me for a result," Zandvliet said, referring to her patients.

A new California law was signed by Gov. Newsom in September to crack down on doctors who write fraudulent medical exemptions for school children's vaccinations.

“The physician isn’t guilty until the investigation is done. At that point the medical board makes it’s decisions,” Mazer told NBC 7.

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