The lowest child vaccination rates have existed in California. Shockingly, the state has certain areas which have even lower vaccination rates than war-torn third-world countries. But all that’s about to change as the California Assembly passes one of its toughest mandatory vaccination laws in the country, banning religious and personal belief exemptions.
The strict law exempts no child (except on medical grounds: those with serious allergies to vaccine components)
The passing of the law makes California the third state to eliminate religious exemptions for vaccines, and the 32nd to ban “personal belief” exemptions.
An unvaccinated child would not be permitted to attend public schools – however, they are allowed to be home or privately schooled.
California recently witnessed a serious outbreak of measles earlier this year which left many people sporting red spots. Most of them were either unvaccinated or too young to be vaccinated against the disease. This triggered a public health debate about vaccines in the state.
The anti-vaccine campaign gained substantial ground after the publication of an article which linked the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine to autism in children. Even though the article was later discredited as completely bogus since then – despite mounds of evidence saying that there is no link between the vaccine and autism – parents have avoided getting their child vaccinated.
With the recent return of harmful – even fatal, like Diphtheria which killed a six year old boy in Spain – diseases which had previously been completely eradicated by vaccines, this is a positive step in the right direction that will safeguard future generations.
It is well known that unvaccinated children can easily spread illnesses like whooping cough to children too young or medically fragile to be protected against them. Whooping cough is especially important to vaccinate against in schoolchildren to avoid passing on the illness to infants or very young other children that are at a higher risk of dying from the disease than their older peers.
Edward Jenner, who was the first to invent and introduce the concept of vaccine in 1798, would be nodding his head in approval at the moment if he were alive.
Edward Jenner himself was inoculated at 8 years of age, and never caught smallpox. During his apprenticeship with Dr. Daniel Ludlow, he heard a dairymaid say, “I shall never have smallpox for I have had cowpox. He thus discovered vaccination using cowpox to give cross-immunity to smallpox in 1796, and by Pasteur’s time this had generally replaced the use of actual smallpox material in inoculation.