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California governor signs bills limiting vaccine exemptions

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed two bills that...

Posted: Sep 10, 2019 6:41 AM

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed two bills that limit medical exemptions for vaccines of schoolchildren.

Under SB 276, California's Department of Public Health would investigate medical exemptions from doctors who have granted five or more in a year. The bill was first introduced by Democratic state Sen. Richard Pan in February and was approved by the legislature last week. Newsom also signed SB 714, a companion bill, which includes changes proposed by him, such as "allow(ing) a child who has a medical exemption issued before January 1, 2020, to be allowed to continue enrollment until the child enrolls in the next grade span."

Newsom's approval of the stricter regulations comes a week after health officials in New York City said a massive measles outbreak that spread across parts of Brooklyn since October has ended. The crisis reignited a nationwide conversation about vaccinations and the need to implement tighter vaccine laws. California is among a handful of states -- including New York -- that do not offer personal, philosophical or religious exemptions from school vaccination requirements.

California, which previously had notable levels of unvaccinated schoolchildren, has recently seen an overall decrease after the state outlawed non-medical exemptions.

Under the new laws, the state will issue a standardized medical exemption certification form for doctors to complete and send to a child's school. The form would outline the details of the exemption and include information about the medical basis for the exemption. In addition to reviewing doctors who grant five or more exemptions in a year, the state would also investigate schools "with an overall immunization rate of less than 95 percent." Additionally, the legislation gives California the authority to revoke a medical exemption deemed "inappropriate" by a state physician or public health officer.

Pan praised the signing of the bills on Monday, saying in a statement that Newsom was "once again making California a leader in safeguarding children and communities from diseases that threaten our public health."

The signing of the bills, which will take effect January 1, 2020, came as anti-vaccination activists protested the legislation on Monday in Sacramento, arguing the new laws are an overreach by the state on medical problems that cannot be completely prevented by vaccinations.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 875692

Reported Deaths: 16979
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2884516876
Riverside632841269
San Bernardino596961021
Orange568681409
San Diego52355853
Kern33373410
Fresno29911429
Sacramento24304468
Santa Clara23224373
Alameda22636442
San Joaquin21187484
Contra Costa18054234
Stanislaus17292391
Tulare17120275
Ventura13845160
Imperial12410335
San Francisco11877133
Monterey1102283
San Mateo10743157
Santa Barbara9588119
Merced9314152
Sonoma8810129
Kings815183
Solano700974
Marin7001124
Madera483673
San Luis Obispo398532
Placer389852
Yolo306356
Butte301250
Santa Cruz269623
Napa186614
Sutter179612
Shasta167929
San Benito140114
El Dorado12774
Yuba125310
Mendocino108921
Tehama7648
Lassen7571
Lake66315
Glenn6393
Nevada5818
Colusa5456
Humboldt5448
Calaveras33317
Amador30916
Tuolumne2494
Inyo21215
Siskiyou1840
Mono1752
Del Norte1731
Mariposa782
Plumas540
Modoc270
Trinity200
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Chico
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Hot & dry conditions are ahead for your Monday. Stronger winds will bring high fire danger back into our forecast this week. Much cooler temperatures & the potential for showers are on the way for your weekend.
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