California parents who do not vaccinate their children would have to home-school them under a Bill passed by the state Senate, the latest move in a battle between public health officials and "anti-vaxxers" who fear vaccines are dangerous, reports Reuters Health.
The Bill, which eliminates the so-called personal beliefs exemption allowing parents to forego vaccinations if opposed to them for any reason, was introduced after a measles outbreak at Disneyland last year that sickened more than 100 people. "The personal beliefs exemption is endangering the public," said Democrat state senator Richard Pan, a paediatrician and co-author of the Bill. The measure still allows children to attend school without vaccinations for medical reasons.
In recent years, vaccination rates at many California schools have plummeted as parents, some of whom fear a link between vaccines and autism, have declined to inoculate their children against such diseases as polio and measles. Although the vast majority of children are vaccinated, at some schools, many in affluent, liberal enclaves, vaccination rates are well below the 92% needed to maintain the group immunity required to protect those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or who have weak immune systems.
Parents who oppose mandatory vaccinations packed committee hearings to testify against the Bill, which stalled at one point but was then revived.
[link url="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/15/us-usa-measles-vaccinations-idUSKBN0O003320150515"]Full Reuters Health report[/link]