The state Senate passed a controversial bill that would require many more California children to be vaccinated.
The California Senate advanced a bill this week that would end a parent’s right to choose what vaccines their children would receive.
The only option left for parents to refuse vaccinations for their public school children will be to receive a medical waiver signed off by a licensed physician. That, or start home-schooling their children.
Via LA Times:
The legislation “is about increasing immunization rates so no one will have to suffer from vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Sen. Benjamin Allen (D-Santa Monica), who co-authored it with Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento).
If the bill becomes law, California would join 32 other states in eliminating a personal-belief exemption from vaccine requirements.
Pan said more parents are refusing to immunize their children, putting others with low immune systems at risk.
“Vaccines are needed to protect us, but that protection has been eroding,” said Pan, a pediatrician.
Some Republicans unsuccessfully proposed hostile amendments that would have maintained a religious exemption and called for more disclosure of the contents of vaccines.
Sen. Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) said some religious people may not accept any vaccine derived from the cells of aborted fetuses.
“What this [bill] says is we don’t have a right to practice our faith,” he told his colleagues.
The vote was 25 to 10. Most Republicans voted no, although GOP Sens. Andy Vidak of Hanford, Jeff Stone of Temecula and Anthony Cannella of Ceres supported the measure.
The bill would require children to be vaccinated before entering kindergarten. But unvaccinated students who are already in school on parental personal belief exemptions would not have to be immunized until they entered seventh grade or changed school districts.
Some critics of the vaccination bill say lawmakers are influenced by the pharmaceutical industry that produces vaccines.
The bill’s supporters include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the California State PTA, California Medical Assn. and Los Angeles Unified School District.
Read the full story at The LA Times
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