California vaccine law angers some parents
A California vaccine law, which is now in effect, has many parents getting ready to pull their children out of school. The law, which eliminates the option for parents to use personal and religious beliefs to avoid vaccination, was voted after a measles outbreak in 2014.
A new California vaccine law went into effect on Friday, and it has prompted a group of parents to start looking for underground doctors to make sure their children do not take shots.
The law known as SB 277 makes it illegal for parents and caretakers to claim that personal or religious beliefs should exempt them from immunizing their children to attend school. The new immunization law applies to both private and public schools.
California is one of the states with the lowest vaccination rate because thousands of parents believe the shots are either unnecessary or harm their children. However, in late 2014, an outbreak of measles that began at Disneyland led to hundreds being contaminated by an illness that can be avoided with a simple shot.
Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, and Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, got together and proposed a bill to make sure that another epidemic does not occur. Pan, a practicing pediatrician, said he was already frustrated by the high number of whooping cough cases and related deaths since 2010 and blamed it on the fact that parents were abusing the personal belief exemptions. Pan said:
“Every year, you have a slightly larger number of kids entering schools without vaccines,” said Pan. “And they just stay unvaccinated, building up the pool of unvaccinated people.”
“Eventually there’s a tipping point, what you see happening is that someone in the community gets exposed to a disease, and it spreads throughout the community. And there are not enough vaccinated people to keep it contained.”
More than 200,000 Californians signed a petition demanding that the law be repealed and failed because 365,000 signatures were needed. Countless parents stated that they will either move or find a way not to respect the law. Nina Jensen said she is moving her family this month to Oregon. Kristen Kinne is planning to bring her children to Idaho for the same reason.
A third mom, who wished to remain anonymous, said her parental rights were violated, and she plans to find “underground network” of doctors to get a medical exemption for her child.