Vaccine Bill Support, Opposition Picks Up Ahead of Assembly Vote
Groups have stepped up their campaigning over a bill (SB 277) that would tighten California's childhood vaccination requirements in the days leading up to an expected Assembly vote on the measure, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports (Plevin, "KPCC News," KPCC, 6/24).
Background on SB 277
The bill would end personal belief exemptions to the state's childhood vaccination requirements.
However, it has been amended to:
- Allow unvaccinated children to enroll in private home-schooling programs that serve multiple families, rather than programs that serve just one family;
- Permit such 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 was approved by the state Senate in May. In June, the Assembly Committee on Health approved SB 277, sending it to a vote on the Assembly floor (California Healthline, 6/23).
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has not said whether he would sign the measure if it clears the Assembly (Horowitz, AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/25).
Details of Campaigning
According to "KPCC News," supporters and opponents of the bill have launched last-minute campaigns ahead of a vote on the measure that is slated for Thursday.
The Public Health Council paid for automated phone calls that denounce SB 277. The recorded messages include a woman, who says she is a mother, urging people to call on their Assembly member to vote no, noting that the bill would "take away our right to make important medical decisions for our children," "KPCC News" reports.
A Voice for Choice this week placed anti-SB 277 advertisements in the Sacramento Bee. According to "KPCC News," the ads are in the style of political cartoons and reflect potential consequences of approving the bill, such as a student being banned from school for not having the necessary vaccinations ("KPCC News," KPCC, 6/24).
Meanwhile, proponents of the measure also have been active ahead of the vote.
On Wednesday, supporters delivered a petition in favor of mandatory vaccinations with more than 30,000 signatures to Brown, the AP/Bee reports (AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/25).
Meanwhile, Vaccinate California has updated its website to encourage residents to call their local lawmakers and urge them to support for the bill ("KPCC News," KPCC, 6/24).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.