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article imageCalifornia legislature toughens mandatory vaccination law

By Nathan Salant     Jun 16, 2015 in Health
Sacramento - The Golden State would become one of three U.S. states to require childhood vaccinations before most kids could attend public school under a bill being considered by the state Assembly.
The bill, SB277, was approved last week by the California Assembly Health Committee and is waiting to be taken up by the full chamber, perhaps later this week.
The bill has attracted considerable attention nationally because it would remove the "personal belief" exemption that allows parents to refuse to have the vaccines administered to their children on philosophical grounds, according to the Associated Press.
Children who cannot take the shot for medical reasons would not be affected by SB 277,
Only Mississippi and West Virginia have similarly stringent rules.
The California Senate approved the bill last month, partly in response to an outbreak of measles at Disneyland earlier this year that revealed a lower-than-expected vaccination rate among the general population.
More than 100 people from California and Mexico were sickened during the outbreak, the AP said.
While the bill was intended to lift vaccination rates above the 94 percent population threshold for population immunity, the proposal attracted thousands of protesters to Sacramento, the state capital, and many more complaints on social media.
Opponents of the legislation complained that it would restrict their medical care options, constituted governmental overreach and subjected their children to unnecessary treatment.
The bill would apply to children attending elementary and secondary schools, and attending day care centers.
Supporters of the bill disputed claims that the measles vaccine posed unjustifiable health risks.
More about California, Vaccination, Mandatory, Public school, Legislature
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