Thursday, February 05, 2015

California Legislators Urge End To Vaccination Exemptions For Religious and Personal Beliefs

With the number of measles cases in California since December reaching 99, California's two U.S. Senators-- Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein-- yesterday sent a letter (full text) to the state's Health and Human Services Secretary urging that state religious and personal belief exemptions to vaccination requirements be eliminated.  The letter reads in part:
California’s current law allows two options for parents to opt out of vaccine requirements for school and daycare: they must either make this decision with the aid of a health professional, or they can simply check a box claiming that they have religious objections to medical care. We think both options are flawed, and oppose even the notion of a medical professional assisting to waive a vaccine requirement unless there is a medical reason, such as an immune deficiency.
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that State Sen. Richard Pan, a pediatrician, plans to introduce legislation to end these exemptions, though he is open to discussion about keeping the religious exemption.