Mandatory Immunization Of Children For School Entry

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On June 30, 2015, California governor Jerry Brown signed the new version of Senate Bill 277, which eliminated California 's personal belief exemption. These laws create a very low bar for parents to obtain an exemption. Often they simply have to check a box stating they don’t want to vaccinate their children, and that is sufficient. States with personal belief exemptions have 2.5 times the vaccine refusal rate as states with religious exemptions only. Essentially, the easier it is to obtain a vaccine exemption, the lower the vaccination rate. Personal belief exemption rates have gone up dramatically since 1994. During a survey done by Alexander Capron for his medical journal, “Personal Beliefs Exemption from Mandatory Immunization of Children for School Entry”, in 1994, schools on average had 0.6% of kindergarten students claiming personal belief exemptions; by 2009, the number was 2.3%. By the 2013–2014 school year, schools, on average, had 3.15% of kindergarten students claiming personal belief exemptions. While these percentages may seem low, they are not evenly distributed: Some communities have much higher rates, and a recent research paper demonstrated that those communities were most vulnerable to outbreaks.
Like all states, California requires that children attending all school levels must be immunized. According to California State assemblymember, Lorena Gonzalez, the head author for Senate Bill 277, “Existing law prohibits the governing authority of a school or

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