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New Law Aimed at Many Parents Opting Out of State’s Vaccination Program

In a California Healthline report by Deirdre Kennedy, experts discussed the growing threat of vaccine-preventable diseases and one of its causes — the increasing number of parents who refuse vaccines for their children. A new law takes effect in January 2014 to require those parents to consult with a licensed provider before they can opt out of the vaccination program.

In recent decades, successful vaccination programs have all but eradicated diseases like polio and measles, so many parents mistakenly think they are no longer a threat. There has been an increase in California in reported cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, which can be fatal, particularly for infants. That increase has been attributed to the large number of unvaccinated children throughout the state.

The report includes comments from:

  • Mark Dressner, president of the California Academy of Family Physicians;
  • Barbara Loe Fisher, president and co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center; and
  • Assembly member Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), chair of the Assembly Committee on Health (Kennedy, California Healthline, 12/12/13).

You can download this report as a PDF.

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