CA Vaccination Bill Targets Gaps in Public Health
You may have heard about SB 277 -- the recent and highly controversial vaccination bill that passed through the California Senate. It is not yet law – it needs to be approved by the State Assembly -- but is well on its way.
Vaccinating has been a hot button issue for medical professionals and parents, ever since the (now disproven) concern about a connection between the MMR vaccine and possible autism. Many parents used the personal exemption rule -- to refuse based on personal belief and objection -- as a loophole to allow their children not to be vaccinated, believing that any risk of vaccinating was larger than the risk of contracting the illness, and that “herd immunity” from other children being vaccinated would protect their own in the modern age.
But after the recent outbreak of over 100 cases of measles among unvaccinated patients from a single contact at Disneyland, legislators created SB 277 in an effort to tighten the restrictions on exemptions for children and their required vaccinations.
Senate Bill 277: Vaccination Requirements SB 277 was drafted in February, and passed through the California Senate on May 14th. It is now on its way to the Assembly, and if passed, will become a law that removes the "personal exemption" clause in California. Parents will then have to vaccinate their children unless they have a doctor’s note stating that they have a specified medical condition that makes vaccination unsafe.
Public Health via SB 277 Vaccination is one of the few modern medical success stories, saving literally millions of lives worldwide every year, especially among those most vulnerable, such as infants and young children. Lack of widespread “herd” immunity in a community puts them at particular risk from rapidly spreading – one might accurately say, virally spreading -- communicable diseases.
The argument for SB 277 is one for public health.
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