Mandating vaccines in schools

Hundreds of parents besieged the Capitol during a series of legislative hearings to oppose the bill in the belief that vaccines are unsafe, that the proposal would violate their privacy rights and that they alone — not the state — should choose whether to vaccinate their children.More gathered for the vote on Thursday.“This bill puts the state between children and parents regardless of your position on vaccination,” said Luke Van der Westhuyzem, a parent from Walnut Creek who was among dozens of protesters at the Capitol.Kaitlin Lewis, a reporter and weekend anchor at News Radio KFBK, said she felt fine after being sprayed by...(Kurt Chirbas)If the bill becomes law, California will be the 32nd state to deny exemptions grounded in personal or moral beliefs, but only the third to bar exceptions based on religious convictions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Luther Cobb, president of the California Medical Assn., hailed Thursday's vote by the state Assembly as key to keeping deadly but preventable diseases in check.“We've seen with this recent epidemic that rates of immunization are low enough that epidemics can be spread now,” Cobb said. are based on unscientific and untrue objections, and it's just a good public-health measure.”A hotly contested bill to impose one of the strictest vaccination laws in the nation would boost immunization rates by changing parents' behavior, according to immunologists and people who have researched the impact of such requirements. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), a pediatrician and an author of the bill, has received death threats.“We know too well that the level of [immunization] protection that we have now established in our children and our communities is a fragile one that depends on what we refer to as community or ‘herd’ immunity.From the standpoint of effectiveness, modern childhood vaccines are approximately 90 to 95 percent effective.The measure, among the most controversial taken up by the Legislature this year, would require more children who enter day care and school to be vaccinated against diseases including measles and whooping cough.Those with medical conditions such as allergies and immune-system deficiencies, confirmed by a physician, would be excused from immunization.

A Sacramento radio reporter said she was sprayed in the face with an unknown chemical on Thursday as she covered the protest of a hotly contested vaccine bill in front of the state Capitol.

A hotly contested bill to impose one of the strictest vaccination laws in the nation would boost immunization rates by changing parents' behavior, according to immunologists and people who have researched the impact of such requirements.“People think these are trivial illnesses,” he said. People die from measles.”The measure, which had passed the state Senate but must return there for the expected approval of minor amendments, sparked impassioned debate among lawmakers and the public. And opponents of the proposal have filed papers with the state to initiate the process of recalling Pan and Sen.

Bill Monning (D-Carmel), a vocal supporter, from office.

In 1998, there were 89 cases of measles in the United States with no measles-associated deaths.

Most counties in the United States were free of measles.

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