California passes bill ending “personal belief” exemptions for vaccinations
The state of California has made significant progress in the nationwide vaccination battle. Spurred to action by a recent measles outbreak, Senate Bill 227 passed by a 25-10 vote that will make vaccinations mandatory for all California school children.
Previously, parents had the right to opt out of vaccinating their children on the grounds that vaccines violate their personal beliefs. Parents who choose not to vaccinate their children must now utilize independent study or homeschool programs.
California Senator Ben Allen addressed the new legislation: “This bill is essentially about answering the call of parents and the silent majority who support vaccines.”
The vaccination controversy has vehement supporters on both sides of the argument. Those in favor of vaccination see them as an essential tool in combating easily preventable diseases in our children. Certain diseases, such as smallpox, have been eradicated by vaccines, and other diseases could be treated the same way.
Opponents of vaccinations cite myriad reasons for their oppositions. These concerns range from the harmful chemicals, such as antibiotics, found in vaccines to the unsubstantiated claims that vaccinations can cause autism. Some parents also voiced their concerns that very few clinical trials have been published regarding the safety of current vaccination modalities, creating a sense of paranoia.
This way of thinking has become so widespread that even late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel used his show as a platform to try and explain the safety and efficacy of vaccines.
In the end, vaccinations have been around for years in this country, and very little evidence exists to actually prove that they are harmful. SB 227 could potentially save lives by protecting children from deadly diseases, and that alone should seem worth it.
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