New Approval Process for Vaccine Requirements OK’d
The Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday approved legislation (AB 16) by Assembly member Ed Hernandez (D-Baldwin Park) that would revise how the state authorizes school vaccination requirements, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Hernandez's original bill would have required California girls entering the seventh grade to be immunized against human papillomavirus, which has been linked to cervical cancer. The mandate would have taken effect immediately (Yi, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/18).
Hernandez revised the measure after committee members from both parties said they were reluctant to support some of the bill's provisions and voiced concerns about widespread use of the HPV vaccine at this stage of its availability.
The amended legislation would require that before any child vaccine could be mandated in California, it first must win approval by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a panel of federally-appointed experts. A five-year waiting period would follow ACIP's approval of the vaccine, after which time the state public health officer would determine whether the vaccine should be required (California Healthline, 4/17).
All vaccination requirements approved before Jan. 1, 2006, automatically would be adopted, but all new vaccines, including for HPV, would be subject to the five-year waiting period before they could be mandated, under the measure.
Current state law leaves it up to the Legislature to add to or revise the list of required school vaccinations. All such measures are subject to the governor's approval.
Republican lawmakers and conservative groups oppose the bill, saying it could weaken legislative authority over vaccination requirements and make it easier for pharmaceutical companies to win mandates for their vaccine products (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/18).