California No Longer Accepts Excuses for Immunizations
California has been a step ahead of the rest of the country in many areas, and they’ve done it again, according to a report posted in the LA Times. The state has adopted the most radical vaccination laws in the nation, barring personal-belief exemptions and religion exemptions for schoolchildren. This means that parents cannot simply say, “I do not believe in vaccinations” if their children attend a California public school. The move affects a high number of schoolchildren who will need to be updated on vaccinations, and poises California for fierce court battles with immunization opponents, according to the LA Times article.
Lawmakers decided it was time to throw out personal belief after a series of preventable disease outbreaks in the state. Governor Jerry Brown’s intention is to stifle the amount of parents refusing immunizations, as that number is continuing to rise in his state. Public health officials are greatly leaning on a Disneyland incident and a measles outbreak last December. A number of parents, in 2014, sought vaccination waivers over unfounded safety concerns, allowing measles to reenter the populous, and causing the December outbreak. 150 citizens were affected, according to the LA Times; a few deaths resulted.
California, Mississippi, and West Virginia are the only three states in the nation to ban waivers based on religious or personal beliefs. 20 states still allow parents to waiver immunizations for school children based on religion. California is moving in a positive direction to protect their citizenship as a whole.
The LA Times reports that more than 80,000 California students annually file personal belief exemptions. The new law will either find a number of children getting a lot of vaccines this year, or home school rates rising. Though exemptions will be allowed, such as those entering day care, those with physician-certified allergies, or those with immune-system deficiencies, anyone entering a public school system will need the proper paperwork. College students also need vaccinations to remain in a California state school.
Brown had supported a religious exemption as recently as 2012, and faced criticism because of it.
This year, hundreds of people opposed to vaccination descended on the Capitol to protest the new legislation. They argued that it would violate parents’ right to make decisions about their children’s health and interfere with their children’s right to a public education.
While protests will happen, California is on the right path to eradicating diseases which have made a comeback. The diseases were nearly non-existent before, and they will become nearly non-existent again with progressive laws such as these.
This is good news for anyone in Oregon and Washington, as these diseases can spread quickly and find their way up the West Coast. If you have any questions about vaccinations, who needs them, and who is getting them, please talk to us at Vancouver Home Health Care Agency.
At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.