California Governor Jerry Brown signs into law “incendiary” Senate bill 277 yesterday, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News.
It requires kids that attend daycares and schools to be vaccinated, with no exemptions allowed for personal or religious reasons.
There was opposition to the bill from hundreds of parents who said it violated their parental rights to protect children and their children’s right to a public education.
Under the new law, only children with serious medical conditions can get an exemption and any other unvaccinated child has to be homeschooled, the AP reported. They are required for youngsters who attend both public and private schools.
Bill supporters, including doctors, hospital representatives and health advocates, celebrated at an elementary school Tuesday.
A More than a quarter of schools in California have measles immunization rates that fall below the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation of 92 to 94 percent – the level needed to maintain so-called herd immunity. But there are limits on personal freedom in many areas of life as a concession to living in a society, where one person’s behavior affects the lives of others.
Despite the fact that this bill was so contentious that security was needed in certain public forums, Governor Brown moved forward and signed the bill. But the law was amended to still allow a medical exemption provided by a physician, based on things like a family’s medical history.
“I hope that it causes parents to receive information about vaccines, to have conversations with their pediatrician and other health care professionals and rethink why they had concerns about vaccines”, Dr. Pan said.
The bill proved contentious, with thousands of parents calling representatives and protesting at the Capitol in Sacramento.
The station says that “those who opt out will have to be home-schooled or enroll in an independent study program off school grounds”.
Mathis said in his press release that Brown acted “wisely” in that case.
Helfand said, “We just have to understand that if we’re going to live in a society, we have responsibilities to the entire society, and we need to take those seriously”.
The state’s lawmakers took steps to eliminate the bill’s exemptions following a measles outbreak in California’s Disneyland in December, infecting 136 people.