Mandatory Vaccination Bill Passes California Senate Committee

April 8, 2015 | A bill that would require mandatory vaccination of all children attending California schools got past its first legialt...


April 8, 2015 |

A bill that would require mandatory vaccination of all children attending California schools got past its first legialtive hurdle this afternoon when it cleared a California Senate Committee.

Authored by Senators Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) Senate Bill 277 would strip the personal belief exemption that currently allows parents to opt their child out of vaccines in our schools. It  passed by the Senate Health Committee today on a vote of 6 to 2.

“As a pediatrician and a father myself, I respect the very personal decisions that parents have to make for their children every day,” Pan said. “But I’ve personally witnessed the suffering caused by vaccine-preventable diseases, and all children deserve to be safe at school. The personal belief exemption is now putting other school children and people in our community in danger.”

The personal belief exemption came into light earlier this year when a Corte Madera father sought changes to the personal belief exemption to protect his son who was fighting Leukemia and unable to be vaccinated. Because of this, his immunity was lowered and susceptible to a wide variety of communicable diseases.   

Although the bill passed its first hurdle, it wasn't accomplished without significant opposition. Among the most visible opponents of the bill are Robert Kennedy Jr. who in earlier comments compared compulsory vaccination to a holocaust.

Kennedy has been vocal in his opinion that vaccinations are directly linked to autism. Currently there are about 13,000 children in California schools who have opted out of vaccination on the personal belief exemption.

If SB 277 becomes law, California will join thirty-two other states that don’t allow parents to opt out of vaccination requirements using a personal belief exemption. 

   



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