Vaccination: California Bans Religious Exemptions

California has joined Mississippi and West Virginia in barring religious and philosophical exemptions for childhood vaccinations.

California has joined Mississippi and West Virginia in barring religious and philosophical exemptions for childhood vaccinations.

Only medical reasons will be acceptable if parents want their children to attend schools, daycare and other public programs without getting recommended vaccinations.

The American Medical Association last month announced its support for such a policy, but most states are still allowing such “personal belief” exceptions.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill, known at SB 277, on June 30.

“The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous disease,” he said in a statement announcing his decision. “While it’s true that no medical intervention is without risk, the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects the community.”

The anti-vaccine controversy in California has been fueled by celebrities who have used social media to spread their fears.

Those center on the use of the preservative thimerosal in some vaccines.

Environmental activist Robert Kennedy, Jr, son of the late US attorney general and an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council has also been a vocal anti-vaccine crusader. He blames vaccination for increases in ADHD and autism.