Bill Seeks Changes to Approval of California Vaccine Requirements
The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday is scheduled to consider a measure that would modify the process used to approve new vaccine requirements for California children, the Contra Costa Times reports.
AB 16 by Assembly member Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) would impose a five-year waiting period from a recommendation to require a vaccine by the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the time it could be mandated in California. Under the bill, the state public health officer in consultation with the California Conference of Local Health Officers would decide which vaccines would be required for California children.
The public health officer could delay requiring a recommended vaccine for an additional year if:
- There is a shortage of the vaccine;
- Insurance coverage is inadequate; or
- A delay is justified by public health concerns.
Hernandez said that the bill would permit the Legislature to reconsider such decisions and preserve a provision that allows parents to opt out of the vaccine requirement for their child because of personal beliefs.
The bill has been endorsed by the California Medical Association, Kaiser Permanente and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California but has drawn criticism from parents of autistic children who harbor concerns that the change will reduce public input for new vaccine requirements (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 6/26). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.