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Committee OKs Vaccine Requirement for Day Care Workers; Floor Vote Next

On Wednesday, the Assembly Committee on Appropriations passed a bill to require day care workers to be immunized against three major illnesses that could harm children.

It was the last committee stop for the bill, which passed the Senate and now will be up for an Assembly floor vote.

SB 792, by Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), would require vaccination for whooping cough, measles and influenza for all day care workers.

The only exemption for a whooping cough or measles immunization would be a physician’s note that exempts individuals for whom the vaccination would not be safe.

Day care workers who do not want to get the influenza vaccine, though, just need to fill out a form to become exempt from the requirement.

The bill also reiterated the need for tuberculosis clearance among day care workers, which already is required by law.

“[This bill] protects young vulnerable children by making sure that those who care for them in child care settings are vaccinated against serious contagious illnesses,” Mendoza said at Wednesday’s committee hearing.

“One child’s death is one too many, especially when it may be preventable,” Mendoza said in an email. “With the recent deadly outbreaks of measles and influenza, we must do everything in our power to protect California’s children who spend time in day care. This is not just a common sense solution, but makes scientific sense.”

The state’s Department of Finance representative at the hearing, Jacqueline Wong Hernandez, said the bill “could decrease the health risk to children at no cost to the state.”

If the bill is passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor, it would go into effect Sept. 1, 2016.

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