California lawmakers advanced a bill yesterday that aims to ban personal belief exemptions from vaccines for school-going kids.
The measure follows an outbreak of measles in the state that started last December. In the months since, more than 150 people across the US have been diagnosed with measles—126 in California. The proposal would leave medical exemptions to vaccinations intact.
The bill passed the state Senate health committee by a vote of 6-2 after 4 hours of heated debate, and now faces additional steps before a possible Senate floor vote. Those voting against the bill said it tramples on a parent's rights, but the bill’s co-author, Democrat Richard Pan, a pediatrician, said, "I've personally witnessed the suffering caused by vaccine-preventable diseases, and all children deserve to be safe at school.”