California Senate Clears Compulsory Vaccination Bill SB277

California Senate Clears Compulsory Vaccination Bill SB277

Monday saw the California Senate pass the controversial compulsory vaccination bill that requires almost all Californian schoolchildren to receive mandatory vaccination. Now, it is Governor Jerry Brown’s time to take a call on the same.

The bill SB277 was introduced by Democratic Sens. Richard Pan of Sacramento and Ben Allen of Santa Monica. This followed an outbreak of measles at Disneyland in December, which infected over 150 people in US and Mexico.

If this bill becomes a law, California would join states like Mississippi and West Virginia, in making vaccinations compulsory for children in public schools. The Senate voted 24 to 14 on Monday in favour of minor amendments to the bill. The amendments included the inclusion of grandfather clause, that lets students maintain their personal belief exemption, until their next vaccine checkpoint, which would occur in kindergarten and seventh grade. Another change allows doctors to use a family's medical history as an evaluating factor.

The bill has invited tremendous ire from the parents. They claim that the state is interfering with their parental rights and repressing informed consent. The bill does away with personal belief exemption for immunizations thus, it exempts only children with medical exemptions with serious health issues. Rest of the kids would require getting themselves vaccinated. Else, they will have to be enrolled in a home-based private school or public independent study program based off campus.

Now, Gov Brown has time until July 13. Reports from his office allege that he himself believes that vaccinations are profoundly important and a major public health benefit and therefore, this bill would be closely considered.

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