Re­stric­tive Calif. vac­cine bill clears key leg­isla­tive hur­dle

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

Cal­i­for­nia’s Assem­bly ap­proved a hotly con­tested bill last week re­quir­ing that nearly all public school­child­ren be vac­ci­nated, clear­ing one of its last ma­jor leg­isla­tive ob­sta­cles be­fore the mea­sure heads to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown.

The bill aims to in­crease im­mu­niza­tion rates af­ter a measles out­break linked to Dis­ney­land in De­cem­ber sick­ened more than 100 peo­ple in the U.S. and Mexico.

It would give Cal­i­for­nia one of the na­tion’s strictest vac­cine laws by strik­ing the state’s per­sonal belief ex­emp­tion. Only chil­dren with se­ri­ous health is­sues would be al­lowed to opt out of manda­tory vac­cine sched­ules. Un­vac­ci­nated chil­dren would need to be home­schooled. Cal­i­for­nia would join Mis­sis­sippi and West Vir­ginia as the only states with such strict re­quire­ments.

The Se­nate al­ready ap­proved the bill once, but still must ap­prove its amend­ments be­fore it is sent to Brown, a Demo­crat.

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