California Moves to Ban Religious and Personal Vaccine Exemptions

Lawmakers have taken first step in limiting vaccination exemptions for schoolchildren. Bill approved late June. Prohibits parents from stopping their children from being vaccinated for personal or religious reasons.

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The bill √† SB 277 legislation was approved in a 46-30 vote in the California Assembly and California is the 3rd state to remove religious and personal vaccine exemptions. Decision was followed by recent Measles outbreak in Disneyland that made 150 people sick.

The outbreak was traced back to an infected person that visited Disney. Spread rapidly mainly by children without vaccinations. Bill will now be sent to Governor Jerry Brown to approve.

Governor believes that vaccinations are profoundly important and have a major public health benefit. If passed, the law will come into effect on January 1, 2016. Only exemptions will be medical reasons such as allergic responses and weak immunity. 

Otherwise, parents will have to get children vaccinated to register for preschool and kindergarten. Law also states that children cannot go to seventh grade without the required immunization. Bill does not apply to home-schooled children. Bill received bipartisan support.

But there was significant opposition from parents. Many gathered on the Capitol steps to protest the vote. Senator Pan received death threats from vaccination opponents. Those in opposition say:

  1. Want children to get these diseases naturally
  2. Issue is that children die of these diseases
  3. Can become paralyzed or brain damaged