The California Assembly on Thursday passed a bill requiring all children in public schools to be vaccinated. The bill would mean that parents’ personal or religious objections would no longer provide cause for opting out.

The push for mandatory vaccination gained momentum after an outbreak of measles occurred last year in Disneyland, near San Diego. It remains uncertain whether Gov. Jerry Brown will sign the bill into law, but its passage would make it one of the strictest vaccination regimes in the country.

The measure, which has sparked fierce debate among lawmakers, the medical community and parents’ groups, was approved on a bipartisan vote of 46-31.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

The measure, the most controversial taken up by the Legislature this year, would require all children who enter kindergarten in California to be vaccinated against diseases including measles and whooping cough unless a physician approves an exemption based on medical conditions such as allergies and immune system deficiencies.

The bill was introduced by Democratic state Sens. Richard Pan, a Sacramento pediatrician, and Benjamin Allen of Santa Monica because of concern about low vaccination rates in some communities and an outbreak of measles among some visitors to Disneyland in Anaheim that ended up infecting more than 130 people.

If the bill becomes law, California would be the 32nd state to deny exemptions based on personal or moral beliefs, although it would only be the third state to deny exemptions for religious reasons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Read more here.

–Posted by Roisin Davis

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