THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

SB 277 would end some families' personal belief exemptions for vaccines

Assembly passes SB 277 vaccine bill for schools | Courtesy of medicalexpo.com
The full assembly recently passed Senate Bill 277, legislation designed to end the personal belief exemption for vaccines in California.

The assembly members said they approved the bill with a bipartisan vote of 46-30 in order to protect students who attend schools but are unable to receive immunizations for vaccine-preventable conditions. The traditional law in California enables parents to choose whether their children receive the required school vaccinations. The new bill eliminates this option for children in state-sponsored child care, private school and public school. Only children who attend public, independent study off campus or private home-based schools will be allowed to refuse vaccines.

The bill does permit children to refuse vaccines because of medical exemptions from a doctor.

The bill will now progress to the senate. If approved there, the bill will be sent to Gov. Jerry Brown.

"As a mother, I understand that the decisions we make about our children's health care are deeply personal and I respect the fundamental right to make medical decisions as a family," state assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), the bill's floor manager, said. "However, none of us has the right to endanger others. SB 277 strikes the right balance of ensuring informed, thoughtful medical decisions between a family and their doctor and the rights of all our school children to attend school without fear of contracting a potentially fatal, vaccine-preventable disease."