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Public Health Reminds About New Vaccine Law

Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Public Health Department is offering a friendly reminder to parents that a new state law takes effect next year requiring students entering either kindergarten or 7th grade to receive required vaccinations.

Nurse RN Kathy Amos says the Health Department has received several calls from parents over recent months with questions about the new rules.

The new state law affects children entering either kindergarten or 7th grade after July 1, 2016. While there are several months left before the law takes effect, Amos notes that the vaccination process can take several weeks to fully complete, so you do not want to wait until the last minute.

During the 2013-14 school year, the county reports that the rate of kindergarteners locally opting out of vaccinations was 15.4%, while the state average was 3.1%. The Public Health Department reports that the changes impact both public and private schools.

Passage of the new state law was controversial and followed several heated committee debates. It eliminates the “personal belief” exemption, but does allow for medical exemptions, if deemed so by a medical professional.