Sacramento, CA — The legislation that mandates children be vaccinated before attending school has been signed by Governor Jerry Brown.
In signing SB 277, Brown said, “The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases. While it’s true that no medical intervention is without risk, the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects the community.”
SB 277 was amended to allow children to be exempt from the requirement if a physician feels there is a medical reason to do so. It does not allow for religious or personal belief exemptions.
SB 277 did not have the support of the two Mother Lode lawmakers, as Republican Senator Tom Berryhill and Republican Assemblyman Frank Bigelow were both opposed.
During a May Mother Lode Views show, Senator Berryhill noted that he personally chose to vaccinate his own children, but was in opposition to the state mandate. He said, “I think that the bill was written pretty well, and to protect the masses, you can make the argument that it was a good bill. But there’s just a lot of people that don’t believe in the vaccine and they believe in the immune system.”
California joins Mississippi and West Virginia as the only states that require children to be vaccinated before entering school. The legislation was introduced in response to a December measles outbreak in Disneyland.