Survey: Most Calif. Adults Support Childhood Vaccine Requirements
More than two-thirds of California adults support requiring children to obtain vaccines before they are admitted to school, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California, KQED's "State of Health" reports.
The survey comes amid a highly debated legislative effort to require children to be vaccinated in order to attend public schools (Aliferis, "State of Health," KQED, 6/3).
Currently, California law requires children entering kindergarten to obtain vaccinations for several diseases, such as measles (California Healthline, 2/3).
However, parents can opt out of vaccine requirements by first consulting with a licensed health care provider or by claiming religious objections (California Healthline, 6/3).
The state Senate last month approved a bill (SB 277) that would end personal belief exemptions to childhood vaccination requirements in the state.
The bill was amended to:
- Allow unvaccinated children to enroll in private home-schooling programs that serve multiple families, rather than programs that serve just one family;
- Allow unvaccinated children to participate in independent study projects that are overseen by school districts but do not include classroom time; and
- Remove a provision that would have required schools to inform parents of immunization rates.
The bill would allow exemptions for medical reasons (California Healthline, 5/15).
Details of Survey
According to "State of Health," the survey asked adults and parents of public school students whether they thought:
- Children who have not been vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella should be able to attend public school; and
- Such vaccines were safe ("State of Health," KQED, 6/3).
Overall, the survey found that:
- 67% of adults said unvaccinated children should be barred from attending public school; and
- 65% of public school parents said unvaccinated children should be barred from attending.
- 57% of adults said vaccines for children are very safe;
- 30% said vaccines are somewhat safe; and
- 10% said vaccines are not very safe or not safe at all (Siders, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 6/3).