Tags: Vaccines | vaccination | exemptions | California

Which Vaccination Exemptions Are Allowed by California?

By    |   Monday, 20 Jul 2015 11:18 PM

California has medical exemptions from vaccinations for children who are entering school, but state lawmakers recently passed a bill to eliminate exemptions for religious and personal beliefs.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed the measure in June 2015 to deal with a rising number of parents who weren’t having their children immunized, the Los Angeles Times reported.

VOTE NOW: Should Parents Have the Freedom Not to Vaccinate Their Children?

The restrictions for vaccine exemptions were the result of concerns about an increase in disease outbreaks because many parents are trying to avoid vaccinating their children.

Medical exemptions are aimed at children whose health conditions, such as allergies or disease, could result in serious harm from vaccinations.

In the past, the state allowed philosophical exemptions for people who didn’t want their children vaccinated because of religious beliefs or fears that vaccines increase risks for severe reactions or ailments. State lawmakers made it harder for people to obtain personal belief exemptions in 2012 by requiring a signature from a health care provider, the Times said.

Legislation to eliminate personal and religious beliefs entirely for exemptions came about after a measles outbreak at Disneyland in 2014-2015. Vaccination rates had decreased in many areas of the state in recent years, according to Reuters.

In some communities, vaccination rates fell far below the necessary 92-percent level for “herd immunity” protection. This goal helps provide greater protection for large populations by shielding children who cannot receive vaccinations or have weak immune systems.

Opponents of the legislation to eliminate personal and religious exemptions argued that their children could be harmed from the vaccines or that they would be denied the right to have their children publicly educated.

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Under the new law, unimmunized children would not be allowed in school unless they have medical exemptions. Instead, they would have to study at home or in private homeschooling programs.

State Sen. Richard Pan, a Democrat from Sacramento, was a sponsor of the bill. Pan, who is also a pediatrician, said the change in the law was needed because low vaccination rates increase the risk of death, paralysis, or brain damage for children who contract immune-preventable diseases.

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California has medical exemptions from vaccinations for children who are entering school, but state lawmakers recently passed a bill to eliminate exemptions for religious and personal beliefs.
vaccination, exemptions, California
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2015-18-20
Monday, 20 Jul 2015 11:18 PM
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