California eliminates many vaccination exemptions

July 6, 2015

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill into law that eliminates religious and other personal exemptions some parents previously used to keep their children from getting vaccinations that prevent communicable diseases.

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill into law that eliminates religious and other personal exemptions some parents previously used to keep their children from getting vaccinations that prevent communicable diseases.

The new law comes following last December’s outbreak of measles at Disneyland that healthcare experts attributed to low inoculation rates throughout the state. California is the third state to enact such a law.

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"The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases," Brown said. "While it's true that no medical intervention is without risk, the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects the community."

Opponents of requiring children to be vaccinated against communicable diseases prior to starting school immediately threatened legal action. "It is a tragic day for California and a tragic day for America," the group Californians for Vaccine Choice wrote on its Facebook page. "A new battle will begin in the courts now…. No matter how long it takes, we will protect our children and the parents' right to choose.”

 

Despite the lack of scientific evidence, some parents throughout the country believe that children who are vaccinated are at greater risk of developing autism or suffering side effects. California had previously allowed parents to forego the vaccinations for their children for personal or religious reason.

The issue has become so heated in California that at least one legislator who supported the new law received death threats.