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: 516851

Reported Deaths: 9441
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1938774702
Orange37813651
Riverside37011695
San Bernardino33432418
San Diego29883565
Kern20651144
Fresno15083138
San Joaquin11885180
Alameda11524189
Santa Clara10794191
Sacramento10122145
Tulare9745189
Imperial9448222
Stanislaus9221112
Contra Costa8033127
Ventura734476
San Francisco691661
Santa Barbara616760
San Mateo5683119
Marin509270
Monterey492430
Kings445356
Merced428550
Solano361137
Sonoma311339
Madera194330
Placer192516
San Luis Obispo190216
Yolo157242
Santa Cruz11524
Butte9417
Napa8888
Sutter7976
San Benito6474
El Dorado6371
Lassen6260
Yuba5024
Shasta3909
Glenn3321
Colusa3314
Mendocino3229
Nevada2991
Tehama2341
Humboldt2334
Lake2081
Mono1451
Tuolumne1412
Amador1260
Calaveras1251
Del Norte880
Siskiyou730
Inyo611
Mariposa572
Plumas330
Trinity50
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It was a slightly cooler day for northern California today, but a more significant cooling is arriving tomorrow, along with a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms over the mountains of northwest California.
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