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