Bill Would Revise Process of Requiring Immunizations
The Senate Education Committee last week approved a bill that would grant California's public health officer and other officials the authority to approve new vaccine requirements for California children, the Sacramento Bee reports (Griffith, Sacramento Bee, 7/3).
AB 16, by Assembly member Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), would impose a five-year waiting period from when the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends a vaccine requirement to when 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 (California Healthline, 6/27).
Mark Horton, California's public health officer, said, "Whatever can make the process easier would be a good idea."
Advocates of the legislation support the approval of vaccinations by public health officials rather than lawmakers.
Meanwhile, opponents of the measure argue that removing the Legislature from the process could lead to the approval of controversial vaccinations without public input (Sacramento Bee, 7/3).