California vaccine bill clears major legislative hurdle

EMBED </>More Videos

California has moved a step closer to making childhood vaccinations mandatory. A vaccination bill passed the state Assembly on Thursday. (KFSN)

California has moved a step closer to making childhood vaccinations mandatory. A vaccination bill passed the state Assembly on Thursday.

The measure would end exemptions for personal or religious reasons. Despite heated objections, SB 277 passed by a 46-30 vote in Sacramento.

Outside the state Capitol, protesters rallied against mandatory vaccines. The bill would require all kids entering kindergarten to get vaccinated against diseases such as measles and whooping cough. The only exemptions granted would be for medical issues like immune deficiencies.

"How many outbreaks does it take? How many people does it take who are hospitalized? How many children have to die before we do something?" said Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento.

Fresno allergist Dr. William Ebbeling says it's important parents vaccinate their children. He said, "We have what we call herd immunity. If a lot of people are immunized, then it's hard for the disease to spread. But the larger the percentage of the population that isn't immunized, the much easier it is for it to spread."

In an exclusive Action News poll conducted by SurveyUSA, we asked when it comes to vaccinating children, who should have the final say? 83 percent of people polled said parents with their doctor. 8 percent said elected officials.

"It's a big balance between public health and parents' rights," said Dr. Ebbeling. But at the same time, he says the benefits of vaccines far outweigh the dangers. "They have studied the vaccines and autism, and have not found a connection."

The measure now goes back to the Senate before it can move on to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.
Related Topics:
politicsvaccineshealth watchhealth carechildrenchildren's health
(Copyright ©2018 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.)