Hundreds of people, reportedly standing in line for hours, showed up in Sacramento to voice their baseless fears over the bill, which if passed will force many to either submit to protecting their kids or home school them. The committee listened to a spattering of pseudo-science and anecdotal testimony for over two hours. Someone incorrectly pointed out that vaccines contain questionable materials while another claimed the bill would create institutional discrimination. Senator Connie Leyva went as far as arguing that the bill would put up an obstacle between children and education, which is not a very consistent position for Mrs. Leyva to take as measles and whooping cough, among other childhood contagions, are also obstacles to education.
However, not all of the testimony was negative. State Senator Dr. Richard Pan (one of the bill s authors) spoke out about the need to reestablish community (aka herd) immunity in California, while another proponent of the bill urged that California stand up for the scientific method. The bill is also receiving support from many health and education advocacy organizations including the Sacramento City Unified School District, the California Medical Association, the California State PTA and the California School Boards Association.
Despite Wednesday s delay, the bill is not dead. Committee chairwoman Carol Liu warned Dr. Pan that he did not currently have the votes to pass and to come back next week with a bill that worked out some of the current bill s issues. One of the legitimate concerns with the bill is that it does not include language on how to deal with those unvaccinated students who are currently attending school with non-medical exemptions. In 2014, 2.5 percent of California kindergarteners were attending school under a non-medical vaccine exemption.
These events stand in contrast to the events in Spokane this week, where over a hundred students were actually removed from school because they did not have proper documentation of their vaccination records. The Spokane school system, a district of 30,000 students, had warned people in February that they would begin cracking down on the close to 1,000 students who had yet to provide the proper documentation. The school also began hosting daily vaccination clinics to help catch up those students who were non-compliant and as of Monday, the number of students lacking the proper documentation had been halved.
Earlier this week, we here at ACSH discussed Australia s new no jab, no pay policy in which starting next year Australia will withhold welfare benefits to those citizens who have not vaccinated their children. We have received a lot of responses on this and are still welcoming more feedback. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your opinions.