The anti-vaxxing crowd won’t be pleased to hear this news. Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children can be downright mean to those who disagree. The anti-vaxxers recently went off on Jimmy Kimmel after he aired a pro-vaccination PSA. All the while, vaccination rates have plummeted in affluent L.A. neighborhoods. Even Disneyland isn’t safe from measles. A comeback for this potentially deadly disease should have never happened.
Good news: California has passed bill SB277 in the State Assembly. The bill requires that all schoolchildren be vaccinated. Yep, that’s right. All kids, regardless of religious or other parental beliefs. The “personal belief exemption” came under serious fire after the Disneyland debacle. A 2012 bill allowed for these exemptions, but the new version isn’t taking any chances. There are still medical exemptions. The bill still requires Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, but this deal is as good as done:
Because the bill was recently slightly amended in the Assembly, it must return to the Senate, its house of origin, for a final OK. After that, SB 277 would require Brown’s signature to become law.
The governor’s staff has said Brown “believes that vaccinations are profoundly important and a major public health benefit and any bill that reaches his desk will be closely considered.”
But it’s unknown whether or not Brown would allow the religious exemption to be dropped from the current bill.
Brown (as a former Jesuit seminarian) was more sympathetic to religious exemptions in the past. Now the heat is on, so what will he decide? Anti-vaxxers have rallied the capitol to protest the consideration of this bill. However, Brown is under enormous pressure to prevent another measles outbreak.
This bill is a grand development, especially since theories linking MMR vaccines with autism have been debunked. Furthermore, the study these claims were based upon was proven fraudulent. California parents will no longer have the option to endanger the general public through their “autonomy.” Unless Brown has a sudden change of heart and strikes down the bill portion disallowing religious exemptions, measles may soon disappear again.