The controversial vaccination bill, SB277, was passed by California Senate on Thursday. Hopes that the Assembly will also see its significance and pass it into law in the near future are up.
The bill was developed by Democratic Senator Richard Pan (Sacramento) and Democratic Senator Ben Allen (Santa Monica) following a measles outbreak at Disneyland in December. The outbreak infected 136 Californians, signaling the need for change with view to compulsory vaccination.
Until now and in the foreseeable future as well, many parents refused vaccination for their children on grounds of either medical concerns or „personal belief”. This is set to change, with a list of no less than 10 vaccinations made compulsory by the Senate by the time children enter kindergarten.
Those who are still exempt from the measure are children who are already admitted in school and have not reached seventh grade. Another exemption included in the bill refers to children who waiver on medical grounds, such as low immune system.
Translated in numbers, what the bill envisions is that 10 vaccinations are compulsory for every child entering kindergarten, thus preventing the outbreaks of any kind. The health of all is taken into consideration.
The approximately 13,000 children who were not vaccinated until now on grounds of „personal belief” will be required to take the shots once they reach seventh grade. The 10,000 children who haven’t been vaccinated on the same reasons, yet reached seventh grade might be able to avoid the legal obligation as California State doesn’t require vaccines after that age.
Understandably, California Senate passing the bill raised the voices of many parents concerned by the much debated link between vaccination and autism. Others voiced their concern as to their religious backgrounds. Different groups argued that the move is arrogant as the state government cannot impose guidelines on how to raise a child against parents’ will. Even in the Senate, the quorum was split on the matter. The bill was passed with 25 votes for and 10 against, reflecting the reality on the ground.
Jack Pitney, Clermont McKenna College politics and government professor expressed his hopeful view that the controversial bill will clear the Assembly as well. When it does, California becomes the third state in the U.S. among Mississippi and West Virginia that doesn’t allow exemptions to vaccination based on personal or religious views, considering that the health of all citizens takes priority over the beliefs of certain groups.
Image Source: globalbiodefense.com