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Vaccine Critic Dr. Bob Sears Faces Disciplinary Action For Excusing Toddler From Immunizations

DANA POINT ( — Dr. Bob Sears, a vocal critic of mandatory vaccination laws and a Capistrano Beach pediatrician, faces disciplinary actions from the state medical board for recommending a 2-year-old patient forego immunizations.

The board accuses Sears of "gross negligence" in 2014 when he wrote a letter excusing the toddler from future vaccinations after the child's mother described an adverse reaction. Those adverse reactions included "shut down stools and urine" for 24 hours following the child's 2-month shots and being limp "like a ragdoll" for 24 hours and "not himself" for up to a week after 3-month vaccines, according to the complaint released Thursday (PDF).

Sears' letter excused the child from all future vaccinations, but was not maintained to reflect the patient's medical chart, the medical board alleged.

The complaint says Sears failed to obtain a detailed medical history documenting the unidentified boy's prior vaccines and reactions needed for an evidence-based recommendation, leaving the patient and "his future contacts at risk for preventable and communicable diseases."

If Sears is found negligent, he faces discipline ranging from public reprimand to revocation of his medical license.

Sears is the author of "The Vaccine Book," which touts an alternative shot schedule to what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. He wrote in an op-ed piece published in the Orange County Register last year that "vaccination is important and protective. But it cannot be forced; a parent must give consent."

Sears has also criticized the tough new California law that no longer allows parents to file personal belief exemptions in order to enroll un-vaccinated children in school. Instead, a medical waiver must be provided by a doctor.

CBS2's Michele Gile spoke to several Sears patients who declined to go on camera but many wondered why the case was even surfacing now -- more than a a year after the boy was treated.

Sears will get a hearing to explain and defend his position.

Gile said she tried to get a comment from the doctor but his office emailed saying he wasn't making any public statements at this time.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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