Governor Jerry Brown has signed a strict new vaccine bill into law, eliminating personal and religious belief exemptions. The Governor signed the bill one day after it landed on his desk.
“The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases,” Brown said in a signing statement. “While it’s true that no medical intervention is without risk, the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects the community.”
California is now one of three states that do not allow for personal and religious exemptions from childhood vaccination.
Opponents promise there will be a challenge at the ballot box, looking to get a referendum under consideration for an election after the bill takes effect.
“We need to wait until someone actually gets thrown out of school until we can challenge it,” which would not occur until after the bill takes effect in 2016, said Christina Hildebrand, founder of the group A Voice For Choice. “But we will likely have a referendum on it.”
The movement to tighten up California's vaccine laws followed a measles outbreak at Disneyland.
Supporters of the bill are confident that it will withstand any challenges. “Parents do not need to worry, do not want to worry, about taking their children to the school, or to stores, to theme parks,” said bill author Richard Pan, a Democratic state senator from Sacramento.
Pan went on to say “The courts have been very clear that you don’t have a right to spread a communicable disease, that there’s a public interest in keeping our communities safe from disease.”