Sacramento, Calif. — California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Senate Bill 277, which requires children to undergo vaccination before they are allowed to enter any public or private school in the state, regardless of their families’ personal beliefs.
The move by Gov. Brown follows months of controversy surrounding the measles outbreak that plagued California, leaving 136 children infected by the virus.
The Californian governor went head and signed the bill into law despite strong opposition by many. In his signing message, Gov. Brown wrote:
“The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases. While it’s true that no medical intervention is without risk, the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects the community.”
Co-authors of the bill Senators Richard Pan and Bill Allen held a news conference outside a Sacramento school shortly after the governor signed the bill into law. They told:
“The science is clear. Californians have spoken. The governor and Legislature have spoken.”
“No more preventable contagions. No more outbreaks. No more hospitalizations. No more deaths. And no more fear.”
“(The bill) is now law.”
Opponents of the bill, however, said that this is not the time for them to give up. A Voice for Change President and Co-Founder Christina Hidebrand told:
“We are going to have a referendum to ask the public to put a hold on the law.”
“We will continue to fight this — we are not going away.”
But the bill has as much supporters as it has opponents. Among the organizations who support the bill are the American Academy of Pediatrics, California, the California Medical Association, the California State PTA, the California Children’s Hospital Association, and the California Immunization Coalition. California Medical Association immediate past president Dr. Richard Thorp told:
“SB 277 is based in fact and science and will help increase community immunity across the state.”
“This is sound public health and we hope Governor Brown’s swift signature on the bill shows how important it is for California. We applaud his fast action to keep Californians safe.”
Source: Tracy Seipel and Jessica Calefat in Mercury News: California vaccine bill SB 277 signed into law by Jerry Brown
Contributed by Althea Estrella Violeta