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California Bill To Make It Harder For Parents To Say No To Vaccines

California Bill To Make It Harder For Parents To Say No To Vaccines

Two state senators in California have proposed a bill that would ban parents from opting out of vaccinating their children on philosophical grounds.

Currently there are around 19 states, including California, that permit broad “personal belief” vaccination exemption for parents

The Huffington Post reports: The bill from state Sens. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), a pediatrician, and Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), an educator, comes amid the worst measles outbreak in 20 years
with more than 100 cases recorded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The flare-up is anchored in California, where many affluent communities have dangerously low vaccination rates and around 13,000 current kindergarten students are not vaccinated, according to an analysis by the San Jose Mercury News.

“As a pediatrician, I’ve been worried about the anti-vaccination trend for a long time. I’ve personally witnessed the suffering caused by these preventable diseases and I am very grateful to the many parents that are now speaking up and letting us know that our current laws don’t protect their kids,” Pan said in a statement.

If the bill is passed as filed, parents may only skip having their children vaccinated in cases where it is prevented by physical or medical conditions.

“Immunization of a person shall be required for admission to a school or institution … unless the child has a physical condition or medical circumstances that contraindicate vaccination as prescribed in Section 120370,” the measure reads.

The bill, which has not yet been assigned a number, will also require schools to notify parents of institutional vaccination rates.