NewsTeam 10 Investigates


San Diego doctor known for vaccine exemptions on probation again

Action is related to exemptions and prescriptions.
Dr. Tara Zandvliet
Posted at 5:43 PM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 18:24:41-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A doctor known for writing vaccine exemptions that the Medical Board of California called “gross negligence” faces new disciplinary action.

Dr. Tara Zandvliet is currently on probation for five years. The punishment started January 22nd.

She was previously on probation for the vaccine exemptions. In 2019, the Medical Board documents stated the cause for discipline included gross negligence, repeated negligent acts, failure to maintain adequate and accurate records, and unprofessional conduct.

During an ABC 10News interview in 2019, Zandvliet said she was not anti-vaccine. At the time, she was responsible for 162 out of 487 medical exemption vaccines in San Diego Unified. That equated to approximately one-third of vaccine exemptions.

“I'm not going to write a medical exemption just because someone wants it,” she told ABC 10News in a 2019 interview. “I'm not going to write it or not write it just because the school says 'Hey, we have too many of them.'”

According to documents, Zandvliet said as of June 2019, she had written approximately 1,000 exemptions since a 2015 law went into place not allowing parents to opt out of vaccines for personal reasons.

Her current probation supersedes the previous one.

The most recent documents also said she was grossly negligent in prescribing drugs. In one case, the board accused her of “failure to recognize opioid addiction” and “failed to taper down the opiate dosage.”

They also said she did not keep accurate records. On the Medical Board of California website, it states that “Dr. Zandvliet admitted to gross negligence, acts of repeated negligence, incompetence, and failed to maintain adequate and accurate medical records in the care and treatment of multiple patients.”

Her license with the Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe certain drugs is now partially restricted. She must also take extra education courses and cannot write vaccine exemptions.

Her probation ends January 21, 2027.

Team 10 reached out to Zandvliet and her attorney but have yet to hear back.

Editor's Note: A previous version of the article stated the Medical Board said despite being banned from writing exemptions, she continued to do so. Dr. Zandvliet did not continue to write exemptions while she was on her first probation. According to the Medical Board, there were multiple cases pending regarding exemptions written in 2017. These patients listed in her new disciplinary action are separate from her first probation.