Take your medicine: CA lawmakers approve mandatory vax bill for children
- The CA State Assembly has approved a bill which would make childhood vaccinations necessary unless a there is a medical reason to forgo vaccination. If this hotly-contested bill is approved, California will become the third state, in addition to West Virginia and Mississippi, to make childhood vaccinations mandatory regardless of personal or even religious objections.
- The issue has been so contentious that State Senator Richard Pan, a physician who wrote the bill, has had to use security at certain events.
- The main argument in favor of vaccination is that it is a public health measure to ensure that nearly-eliminated diseases, such as mumps, measles, and rubella don't re-emerge as potential epidemic threats.
Now that the link between vaccines and autism has been debunked time and time and time again, the public health debate around universal vaccination has gained traction. Nonetheless, a vocal minority continues to insist that they should have the freedom to determine whether their children are vaccinated. On the other side, public health advocates say that failure to vaccinate puts the entire population at risk, as evidenced by the recent measles outbreak at Disney in California.
The bill makes provisions for those who do not want to vaccinate their children by stipulating that failure to vaccinate means parents must home-school their unvaccinated children, or use off-campus independent study programs at public schools. Opponents of the bill are planning aggressive legal campaigns to thwart the progress of the bill, but in the end, most onlookers expect that Gov. Jerry Brown will sign it, though he has not publicly taken a position as of Friday morning.