Amid impassioned pleas from parents and doctors, a key bill has been passed by the Senate Health Committee, which aims at strengthening vaccination requirements in California. A number of people gathered at the state Capitol building Wednesday to express their views about the personal belief of parents regarding the refusal to vaccinate their children. The Senate committee voted in favor of the elimination of the ‘personal belief exemption.’ It would require all children attending school in California to be vaccinated and exemption would be granted only if they have a medical condition justifying the exemption. It would also require schools to report immunization rates to parents.
Democratic Senator Richard Pan said “SB277 does not mandate vaccinations. But that choice requires responsibility, and we have the responsibility to protect all children that go to school by requiring vaccination when children go attend school with other children.” A large rally was organized in favor of the personal belief exemption which focused on individual rights. Kids were holding signs which said things like “Force my veggies, not my vaccines.” People were wearing American flags and parents expressed their views about the freedom to make choices for the welfare of their kids.
Lisa Cadrein from Los Angeles mentioned that her daughter has sensitivities and she is afraid that vaccines may cause neurological harm. Cadrein stated “I am afraid that her big beautiful blue eyes will not focus on me anymore, and she won’t be the kid that she is.” Following hours of debate and public testimony, the bill was passed by the Senate Health committee. The Senate Bill 277 (SB277) will now move to various senate committees for hearing including the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Education Committee. The bill also needs to go though the Assembly after which Gov. Jerry Brown can decide about its approval or decline.