SACRAMENTO—On Thursday, June 25, the California State Assembly voted, 41 to 36, to mandate nearly all California school children get vaccinations.
Senate Bill 277 puts an end to the parents’ choice of immunizing their children based on religious or personal beliefs. Children entering daycare and public schools must be vaccinated against diseases like measles.
According to a statement issued by Senator Bill Allen (Senate District 26), “Under the bill, vaccination checks would take place during the currently mandated reporting periods: when a child enrolls in kindergarten, in seventh grade or when a child enrolls in a new school district.”
SB277 permits an extension period for those who currently have an exemption based on personal beliefs. Assemblywoman, Lorena Gonzalez, noted on her website, “It allows children who have a personal belief exemption on file as of January 1, 2016 to continue enrollment until the child enrolls in the next grade span.”
Children who attend a private school or who are not on a public campus for independent instruction are exempt. Vaccination status will not deter any special education classes for students with an individualized education programs (IEPs).
The passing of this bill follows the December 2015 measles outbreak at Disneyland in Anaheim. Over 100 people in the U.S. were affected.
SB277 must go back to the State Senate for a final vote before making it to the Governor. California would be the 32nd state to pass such legislation.