(print pdf of statement)
SACRAMENTO – As required by SB277, starting tomorrow, July 1, personal belief exemptions are no longer accepted to the vaccination requirements for school attendance in California. Children first entering daycare, kindergarten, or seventh grade must be up to date on their immunizations or have a medical exemption from a licensed physician.
Leah Russin, mother and Executive Director of Vaccinate California, the grassroots coalition of thousands of pro-vaccination parents who advocated for SB277, issued the following statement about the law going into effect:
“This marks the start of a healthier, safer California. With SB277 in effect, vaccination rates will continue increasing as parents protect their children and communities, making our state more resilient to preventable disease outbreak. The new law is already working, improving quality of life, and saving lives. As each new class of children gets immunized, fewer and fewer families will have to face the fear of measles or other debilitating and life-threatening illness.”
SB 277 is already having an impact. The discussion as the bill was considered and the measles outbreak last year are credited with triggering an increase in vaccination rates as discussed by the California Department of Health in the 2015-2016 Child Care Immunization Assessment.
SB 277 was authored by Senators Dr. Richard Pan and Ben Allen and signed by Governor Jerry Brown exactly one year ago on June 30, 2015. The bill was supported by a broad coalition, including the California Immunization Coalition, California Medical Association, March of Dimes, Parent Teachers Association, Black Health Network, American Academy of Pediatrics California Chapter, and many more.