Restrictive Calif. vaccine bill clears key legislative hurdle
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.