A new bill approved by the California Senate has ended waiver for school vaccinations in the state. This measure will be eliminating parents’ right of opting out of the state’s immunization requirements on account of personal beliefs. Children would be excused from vaccinations only if they have medical problems like weakened immune system.
Sen. Benjamin Allen, who coauthored the legislation along with Sen. Richard Pan, said that through this legislation, they are looking to increase the rate of immunization and ensure that no other person develops diseases that can be prevented by vaccines.
If this new bill becomes a law, California will be the 33rd state to eliminate the law that enabled exemption from vaccine requirements on the basis of personal beliefs.
Pan, who is a pediatrician by professional, informed that with every passing day more and more parents are deciding against immunizing their children, which is putting other kids with weak immune systems at high risk of developing different ailments. He added that vaccines are formulated for protecting life, but seeing the current situation it can be said that the importance of that protection is gradually eroding.
The bill was opposed by Robert Huff of Diamond Bar, a Senate Republican leader. He cited the example of a recent event of measles outbreak in Disneyland, which was controlled successfully and eventually ended.
According to Huff, the crises experienced by the state to date don’t seem to be rising to the level that would require people to give up personal freedoms they enjoy as residents of a free nation.
Some other Republicans proposed a few hostile amendments; for instance, they wanted the more detailed analysis of the constituents of vaccines and a religious exemption.
Sen. Joel Anderson said that there are religious people who might not accept vaccines formulated using cells extracted from aborted fetuses. He said that according to him this new bill is trying to establish that people don’t have the right of practicing their faith.
The bill was passed with a vote count of 25 to 10. The majority of the Republicans voted against the bill. The Republicans who supported the measure are: Sens. Jeff Tone, Anthony Cannella and Any Vidak. Once this bill turns into a law, children will need to get vaccinated before they enter kindergarten.