Tags: california | vaccinations | school | kids | bill

California Vaccinations Bill for School Kids Clears Legislature

By    |   Friday, 26 Jun 2015 09:33 AM

The California legislature approved a bill Thursday requiring all children attending public schools to get vaccinations, and now the controversial bill heads to the governor's desk.

"The governor believes that vaccinations are profoundly important and a major public health benefit, and any bill that reaches his desk will be closely considered," said Evan Westrup, the governor's spokesman, according to the Los Angeles Times.

While it remains unclear how Gov. Jerry Brown will come down on the issue, both pro- and anti-vaccine protesters gathered on the capitol steps in Sacramento on Thursday, highlighting the controversial nature of the bill.

The bill, if passed, would make California the 32nd state to deny vaccine exemptions based on personal or moral beliefs. It would be only the third state, however, to deny exemptions based on religious beliefs. West Virginia and Mississippi have denied religious exemptions for years. The only exemptions that would remain upon the bill's passage would be for those who are allergic to the vaccines, those with immune-system deficiencies, and those attending home-school or off-campus independent studies programs.

In short, the bill would require all those who attend public school on government property to be vaccinated, with the exception of the allergic.

The legislation was a reaction to the December outbreak of measles at Disneyland in southern California, where more than 150 people were infected with the potentially-fatal disease.

Dr. Luther Cobb, president of the California Medical Association, lauded the legislature's vote.

"We've seen with this recent epidemic that rates of immunization are low enough that epidemics can be spread now. The reasons for failing to immunize people . . . are based on unscientific and untrue objections, and it's just a good public-health measure."

"People think these are trivial illnesses," he said. "These are not. People die from measles."

Luke Van der Westhuyzem, a parent from Walnut Creek, disagreed with the vote. "This bill puts the state between children and parents regardless of your position on vaccination," he said.

According to The New York Times, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. screened an anti-vaccine documentary across the state ahead of the vote.

 


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The California legislature approved a bill Thursday requiring all children attending public schools to get vaccinations, and now the controversial bill heads to the governor's desk.
california, vaccinations, school, kids, bill
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2015-33-26
Friday, 26 Jun 2015 09:33 AM
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