It’s about time. California lawmakers are considering in filing a bill this coming Wednesday that would require parents to have their children submit to vaccination, except when there’s an imminent danger to the child.
Other reasons such as personal beliefs and religious affiliations are no longer acceptable and no child would be allowed to attend school unvaccinated except for health reasons. Two other states are already considering the same and California is the third so far.
The two other states are Mississippi and West Virginia which has very strict vaccine laws. California’s bill might reconsider a religious exemption.
“People are starting to realize, ‘I’m vulnerable, my children are vulnerable,'” said Sen. Richard Pan, a Democratic pediatrician from Sacramento. “We should not wait for more children to sicken or die before we act.”
The current measles outbreak has pit parents against each other and health experts against members of the anti-vaccine group. The hotly contested topic is whether parents should be forced to have their children vaccinated. As of now there are more than infection 100 cases across the country and Mexico albeit there are no fatalities reported so far.
Pan, previously served in the Assembly, was also the author of another vaccination bill that took effect last year.
In that bill, parents are required to get a note from doctor’s office if they want their children exempted for any other reason except when it is religious in nature.
The target of health officials is to attain 90 percent vaccination rate which they believe will contain any outbreak. Kindergartners’ school in California have met this maximum target at the beginning of this school year.
The governor’s spokesman said Gov. Jerry Brown who signed that bill gave no comment about the governor’s stand whether he will be against any move to end the exemption
“The Governor believes that vaccinations are profoundly important and a major public health benefit and any bill that reaches his desk will be closely considered,” spokesman Evan Westrup wrote in an e-mail.
Parents cite a variety of beliefs for not vaccinating their children, including religious values, concerns that the shot causes illnesses like autism and a belief of allowing children to get sick to build a stronger immune system.
(Some of the reasons parents brought up for not vaccinating their children includes autism and getting the children sick first in order to developed immunity against the disease.
The Associated Press