The controversial vaccine bill that has been moving through the state house and senate of California has been passed by the Senate after only an hour of debate.
Senate Bill 277, introduced by Democratic Senator Richard Pan of Sacramento and Ben Allen of Santa Monica, was passed after just an hour of discussions in a vote of 25-10. The passage of the bill has caused much resentment among parents who took to the streets to protest the bill and even rammed into committee hearings to let their voices be heard.
If the bill is signed into law, California would become the third state that would not allow religious or personal exemptions when it comes to infant and child immunizations. The other two states are Mississippi and West Virginia.
According to the bill, every child will be required to be vaccinated for diseases like measles and polio before they are allowed to enter school. Children who are not vaccinated and don't have a medical exemption will not be able to enter the school system and will be required to study at home or in private home schooling groups.
The authors of the bill are considering again including a Grandfather clause as they want to appease the already agitated parents and give a little room for their personal beliefs. However, this clause has yet to be introduced into the bill. If it is introduced, then it wouldn't required the over 13,000 children who didn't get vaccinated by the first grade to be vaccinated until they enter the seventh grade.
Currently there are over 10,000 seventh grade students that are not fully vaccinated, and they may be able to avoid future shots because the state does not require vaccinations after that grade.
The bill came into effect after last year's measles outbreak that began at Disneyland. The outbreak sickened 136 Californians as well as more in other states. The outbreak demonstrated how visible the consequences of people refusing to have their children vaccinated due to personal reasons.
The bill will force every child in the state to get vaccinated before they enter school. Having passed both the House and the Senate, the bill now rests on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown, who earlier had already showed his support for the bill. Currently, there is no word yet on if he will, in fact, sign the bill or veto it. However, despite protests from many parents, there is still a good chance based on his passed opinions that California will soon become the third state to require vaccines regardless of personal or religious beliefs.