2020 California Code
Health and Safety Code - HSC
CHAPTER 13 - Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Immunization
Section 121250.


The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a)  The rapidly spreading AIDS epidemic poses an unprecedented major public health crisis in California, and threatens, in one way or another, the life and health of every Californian.

(b)  The best hope of stemming the spread of the AIDS virus among the general public is the development of an AIDS vaccine to develop an immunity to exposure.

(c)  No vaccine has yet been fully developed, tested, or approved for AIDS. An effective vaccine, especially when directed at high-risk groups of unexposed persons, will virtually eliminate the risk of contracting AIDS, just as the risk of contracting polio and smallpox have been virtually eliminated by earlier vaccine development, production, and use among the general public.

(d)  Private industry today has the capability of conducting the vaccine research, biological research, immunology, and genetic engineering of appropriate viral components needed to formulate, develop, produce, and test an AIDS vaccine. Whenever these and other appropriate expertise cannot be found within a single company, the formation of multiinstitutional research groups should be encouraged and prioritized, as it is in the public interest to encourage efforts toward vaccine production.

(e)  It is of the highest importance and in the public interest to maximize public protection by developing an AIDS vaccine and by establishing high levels of immunization, initially among high-risk populations.

(f)  The continuous spread of AIDS and especially the threat of infection spreading among population groups previously considered low-risk demands that the highest of priorities be given to the development of a universal immunoprophylaxis.

(g)  The use of vaccines to control the spread of infectious pathogens is recognized as one of the genuinely decisive technologies of modern medicine. Recent advances in pharmaceutical technology combined with better understanding of the immune process offer the hope of an AIDS vaccine that is effective, safe, relatively inexpensive, and relatively easy to administer.

(h)  Utilization of this new science may be forestalled, however, by problems that have recently deterred the development of vaccines by traditional means. These problems must be resolved before the full public health benefits of new approaches to vaccine development can be fully and expeditiously realized.

(i)  The marketplace conditions facing vaccine manufacturers and developers today have changed considerably over the past 30 years. Private manufacturers and developers of vaccines cannot be forced to produce vaccines, and may choose, under the free enterprise system, not to produce them if marketplace conditions are unfavorable.

(j)  Certain market conditions are slowing and threatening to halt the development of an AIDS vaccine. Any delay in the discovery, testing, approval, and production of the vaccine because of these secondary considerations may cost tens of thousands of human lives annually, unnecessary pain and suffering for hundreds of thousands of infected Americans, and billions of dollars in medical costs and in lost productivity.

(k)  Resource constraints in the public and private sectors and the time required to bring vaccines to market presently limit investments in vaccines research and development. Although universities constitute a significant resource in AIDS research in particular and vaccines research in general, university funding limitations and conflicting research priorities make reliance on the resources and expertise of the private pharmaceutical industry a necessary supplement to public funding of AIDS research.

( l)  There has been a decrease in the willingness of pharmaceutical companies to become involved in vaccine research, development, and manufacturing because of uncertain profitability and perceived and actual marketplace risks and disincentives.

(m)  It is clearly in the public interest to provide appropriate and necessary incentives toward the timely development and production of an effective and safe AIDS vaccine.

(n)  The development of an AIDS vaccine provides an exceptionally important benefit, making its availability highly desirable. However, certain conditions may preclude that development, including the following:

(1)  There is a high cost for capital expenditures for vaccine development (estimated to be from ten million dollars ($10,000,000) to thirty million dollars ($30,000,000)). Testing costs of clinical trials (twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) per vaccine, by some estimates) are particularly burdensome, especially for smaller firms.

(2)  There is an uncertain market demand for a vaccine once development costs have been invested and FDA marketing approval has been secured.

(o)  Without state intervention to assure minimal profitability of an AIDS vaccine, inadequate incentives may exist for the private sector to commit resources and expertise to the accelerated development of an AIDS vaccine.

(p)  In light of the dangers inherent in the AIDS epidemic to the general public of California, it is crucial that to the extent possible any serious obstacles to the development of a vaccine be removed.

(q)  Because an AIDS vaccine provides an exceptionally important public benefit, it is in the public interest to take uncommon action to facilitate the development and production of a vaccine.

(r)  It is as well in the public interest to assure fair compensation, if necessary at public expense, to any innocent victim who may be injured by an AIDS vaccine, as a part of implementing the socially beneficial policy of establishing high levels of AIDS immunization.

(s)  In light of the high incidence of AIDS amongst Californians, the California Legislature must lead our country into the 20th century in this effort.

(t)  It is therefore fitting and proper that the State of California enact uncommon and exceptional legislation in order to prevent the further spread of the AIDS epidemic.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 1996.)

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