SACRAMENTO—The California State Assembly approved SB 277, the vaccination bill, on Thursday, June 25, by a vote of 41-36.
The bill, which was introduced on February 19, will now go to the senate so minor amendments can be approved. The senate had approved the legislation once before. After the senate, the bill will then be sent to Governor Jerry Brown.
SB 277 makes vaccinations mandatory for school children in the state of California. Public and private educational institutions, daycare centers, and nursery schools will not be able to accept children without proof of vaccination.
Under this bill, children cannot remain unvaccinated for religious or personal reasons, unless they are home-schooled and do not go to an institution for their classes. Another exception to the general rule is if they have medical conditions, confirmed by a licensed physician, that prohibit them from being vaccinated. Such conditions can include allergies and medical history in the family.
The legislation covers vaccination of a total of 10 diseases plus any others “deemed appropriate by the department.” Children must be vaccinated for measles, mumps, rubella, diptheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, haemophilus influenzae type b, hepatitis b, poliomyelitis, and chickenpox.
People challenging this bill say that it violates a parent’s basic right to make medical decisions for their children.
Proponents say that though parents have a right to make these medical decisions, they do not have the right to put other people at risk.
This bill was influenced by the measles outbreak in December 2014. It was likely due a traveler who became infected with measles overseas and came to Disneyland while he was infectious. At least 40 people across the state became infected with a strain of measles. According to the CDC, 2014 showed a record number of measles cases in the United States. A total of 668 cases were reported in 27 states.
SB 277 was co-sponsored by Senator Ben Allen of District 26, which includes Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Santa Monica. The other co-sponsor, Senator Richard Pan of Sacramento, is a pediatrician.
To read SB 277, please go to: