Under a new law, California parents will be required to vaccinate their children, regardless of their moral or religious beliefs.
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Last September, a study came out showing that wealthy neighborhoods in California had lower vaccination rates than South Sudan. Not too long after that, there was an outbreak of measles at a nearby Disneyland, affecting over 150 people. So it was no surprise that California lawmakers recently wrote a bill requiring parents to vaccinate their children, regardless of their religious, moral, or personal beliefs.
The bill, expected to pass the legislature today, could become one of the toughest vaccination laws in the country. While thousands of California children were previously able to escape vaccination thanks to religious exemptions, the new law would mandate children to be vaccinated if they want to enter day care or school. This would make California one of 32 states to ban exemptions based on personal grounds, and one of only three states to refuse religious reasons.
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While the measure is expected to pass, lawmakers have had a tough time getting it through. Senator Richard Pan (Democrat, San Francisco), pediatrician and author of the bill, has received numerous death threats, as well as a petition to remove him from his position. Many parents, under the influence of Not a Dr. Jenny McCarthy, argue that vaccines are unsafe, and that the proposal would violate their privacy rights.
The decision is expected to pass the Senate, but Governor Jerry Brown has not yet stated whether he would vote for the bill.