California Law Mandates Vaccines for School-Aged Children, No Belief Exemptions

by CELESTE MCGOVERN | National Catholic Register  |  published on August 1, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Amid roiling debate foreshadowing what is to come elsewhere, state Senate Bill 277, to abolish religious and “personal belief exemptions” for vaccination from California’s health code was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on June 30.

The new legislation, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2016, marched through the Democrat-controlled state assembly with a vote of 46 to 30. It mandates that all children in California receive 29 doses of vaccines against 10 of 16 diseases on the government’s current vaccine roster and “any other disease deemed appropriate” by the State Department of Public Health before entering public or private day care or kindergarten.

SB-277 also requires that children’s immunization records be reviewed at educational junctures to ensure they have caught up with vaccine mandates. The bill maintains medical exemptions such as for those who have had a previous serious reaction to a vaccine, but not, for example, for their siblings.

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