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Parents Sue to Stop California’s School Vaccine Mandate

A group of parents and organizations sued the State of California last Friday in an attempt to stop the vaccine mandate that now stands in effect for the upcoming school year.

Six parents and four not-for-profit organizations joined together to file the lawsuit against the State of California and its applicable departments and authorities. The plaintiffs seek relief based on “a child’s right to an education” as “long recognized” by the California Supreme Court, according to court documents.

The four organizations joining in the lawsuit are: Nevada-based Education for All, D.C.-based Weston A. Price Foundation, Nevada-based Citizens for Health, and Georgia-based Alliance for Natural Health.

Waves of efforts to stop vaccine mandate SB 277 failed to stop the legislators bent on its passage. The bill that became law and went into effect on July 1 of this year eliminated California parents’ choice in whether to vaccinate their children unless they have the means to homeschool or enroll a child in non-classroom-based independent study. Gone are the personal belief waivers that allowed parents to opt a child out of even one dose of a required vaccine and still attend public or private school.

Those that opposed SB 277 did so for a host of reasons and from across the political spectrum. California now has one of the most stringent vaccine mandates in the country. As the new lawsuit states, 47 states allow some sort of personal or religious exemption from required vaccinations.

An effort to put a referendum on the ballot in order to repeal the law fell short of the signatures needed, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The bill’s co-author, State Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), has led the charge for more stringent vaccine laws. Pan was behind a more flexible measure, AB 2109, which passed not long before SB 277 and was already producing increases in vaccination rates without mandating vaccinations.

Melissa Floyd, a data analyst and 15-year mathematics educator, testified at a June hearing on SB 277 at the state capitol, stating, “Important to note, there is no correlation between the PBE percentage rate and the incidence of disease. L.A. County has a PBE rate of 1.62%, that’s very low and they had almost 30 cases of measles.”

SB 277 was one of a host of bills that built steam in light of an outbreak of measles stemming from an unknown “patient zero” at Disneyland in December 2014. The The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked the strain to one that had recently caused an outbreak in the Philippines.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 

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