California’s hotly-debated vaccinate mandate, Senate Bill 277, has been delayed just in time for the anticipated official April 17 end to the measles outbreak that began spreading at Disneyland last December and that inspired two Democrat State Senators, Dr. Richard Pan and Ben Allen, to propose the bill. The new legislation would strip parents’ ability to exempt their children from one or more of the 27 doses of vaccine required for K-12 students.
In a legislature dominated by Democrats, SB 277 has generated unusual political contention over parents’ rights and public health. Parents brought their kids to a hearing at the Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday, where they vowed to remove their children from school if the bill passed. Similar opposition efforts have been successful in stopping vaccine legislation in other states.
“Every child deserves an opportunity at education,” Pan said , according to the Sacramento Bee, “and every child deserves an opportunity to be safe at school.”
The “personal belief” waivers that would be done away with under the new bill accounted for a mere 2.54% of kindergarteners at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year. “Health care practitioner counseled” reasoning made up the majority of those exemptions, with a remaining 0.52% made under “religious belief.”
An additional 6.9% of under-vaccinated kindergarteners were “conditional entrants”–children whose parents don’t express a written objection to vaccinating their children, but whose children have not received the numerous required vaccinations by the beginning of the school year. These children are expected to obtain the remaining vaccinations during the remainder of the school year.
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