New California Law Restricts Vaccine Opt-Outs

(Photo: Amanda Mills, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Amanda Mills, Creative Commons)

California has passed a strict new law on vaccine opt-outs that has both parents and doctors disagreeing with its content.

Christina Favuzzi, reporting for KSBY-TV, writes that Senate Bill 277, which went into effect on July 1, mandates that parents will no longer be allowed to opt out of vaccinating their children because of personal or religious reasons.

Now, before a child can be enrolled in a new school or by the time a youngster is beginning the seventh grade, students must be vaccinated.

Pediatrician Dr. Rene Bravo of San Luis Obispo admits that he supports vaccinations, but he still is ambivalent about the new legislation.

"The downside I see sometimes is the loss of individual choice in the matter," Dr. Bravo said. "I think that there's a great degree of ethical and personal controversy involved with imposing these things on people but I understand why this law came into effect."

The law will not allow a simple note from a doctor to be used as an excuse for not being immunized. To be exempted from the shots, children must have had reactions or medical conditions that have been diagnosed by a physician and would preclude them from taking the vaccine.

Children in California who go to public schools, private schools, or daycare centers must receive ten immunizations given in a well-defined course of administration.

Breanne Burkard of Grover Beach has four- and two-year-old boys who are on modified vaccine schedules. She says she may choose to homeschool her two young ones.

Opponents have already filed a suit in US District Court in San Diego to have the law overturned. Six parents and four advocacy groups argue that the law is in violation of the state's constitution that guarantees a public education for all children. The suit also claims that the law infringes on the US constitutional rights to equal protection and due process, among other rights.

KPCC Public Radio's Paul Glickman reports that the plaintiffs are seeking a temporary restraining order to block the law while the case is arbitrated. The suit names the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Education as defendants.

The bill was introduced last year after the outbreak of measles in December 2014 at the Disney parks in Anaheim. It was found that a number of those who became infected had not been immunized.

The authors of the bill emphasized the need to achieve "herd immunity," which is the point where a high enough level of the population has been vaccinated to protect everyone, including those who could not be vaccinated based on medical reasons.

According to Kevin Oliver of KCRA-TV, at a protest outside the capitol, Kimberly McCauley, a member of A Voice for Choice, said:

"A lot of parents are not in the position that they can just home-school, single families, parents that don't speak English, families with two incomes and they just can't afford to lose an income? What are they supposed to do? Move out of the state?

Vaccine News and Natural News declare that vaccines are dangerous to humans and should be avoided. Many California parents have vowed noncompliance and others have said they would leave the state.

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