California lawmakers proposing law that requires vaccinations
LOS ANGELES — Lawmakers in California are hoping to pass a law that would require parents to vaccinate all children, unless it poses a health risk.
California is one of the 20 states that allows parents to opt their children out of vaccinations based on personal beliefs and religious reasons.
The move comes after California public health officials confirmed over 100 people with the measles virus, following an outbreak in Disneyland.
The virus has spread like wildfire throughout the United States and Mexico, with more than a dozen other cases confirmed.
Gov. Jerry Brown, who passed the exemptions in 2012, said he was open to eliminating all vaccination waivers except for medical ones in an attempt to contain the disease.
Medical waivers apply to children who have allergic reactions or weak immune systems.
If passed, the legislation would make California the 33rd state to require vaccinations for school children.
Disneyland’s outbreak isn’t the most recent. The largest measles outbreak occurred months before in Ohio’s Amish Country, when nearly 400 people fell ill after vaccinated missionaries brought the virus over from the Philippines. It didn’t receive as much attention because the virus didn’t pose a threat to the whole country.
The measles virus — which includes symptoms like fever, sore throat and inflamed eyes — was declared extinct in the US in the 2000’s with the introduction of a successful vaccine.
Most people recover from the illness with a few weeks, but some cases have been fatal.