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California governor signs bills limiting vaccine exemptions

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed two bills that...

Posted: Sep 10, 2019 9:41 AM

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed two bills that limit medical exemptions for vaccines of schoolchildren.

Under SB 276, California's Department of Public Health would investigate medical exemptions from doctors who have granted five or more in a year. The bill was first introduced by Democratic state Sen. Richard Pan in February and was approved by the legislature last week. Newsom also signed SB 714, a companion bill, which includes changes proposed by him, such as "allow(ing) a child who has a medical exemption issued before January 1, 2020, to be allowed to continue enrollment until the child enrolls in the next grade span."

Newsom's approval of the stricter regulations comes a week after health officials in New York City said a massive measles outbreak that spread across parts of Brooklyn since October has ended. The crisis reignited a nationwide conversation about vaccinations and the need to implement tighter vaccine laws. California is among a handful of states -- including New York -- that do not offer personal, philosophical or religious exemptions from school vaccination requirements.

California, which previously had notable levels of unvaccinated schoolchildren, has recently seen an overall decrease after the state outlawed non-medical exemptions.

Under the new laws, the state will issue a standardized medical exemption certification form for doctors to complete and send to a child's school. The form would outline the details of the exemption and include information about the medical basis for the exemption. In addition to reviewing doctors who grant five or more exemptions in a year, the state would also investigate schools "with an overall immunization rate of less than 95 percent." Additionally, the legislation gives California the authority to revoke a medical exemption deemed "inappropriate" by a state physician or public health officer.

Pan praised the signing of the bills on Monday, saying in a statement that Newsom was "once again making California a leader in safeguarding children and communities from diseases that threaten our public health."

The signing of the bills, which will take effect January 1, 2020, came as anti-vaccination activists protested the legislation on Monday in Sacramento, arguing the new laws are an overreach by the state on medical problems that cannot be completely prevented by vaccinations.

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Cases: 1104763

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CountyCasesDeaths
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DuPage710701173
Will59914891
Lake54851924
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Hardin3128
Pope2583
Unassigned1110
Out of IL340

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
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Hamilton29649315
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Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
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Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
DeKalb349864
Montgomery347654
Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
Whitley311126
Wabash305851
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Fayette248648
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Wells236951
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Scott226839
Clay224332
Randolph215248
Jennings200636
Sullivan193533
Spencer193022
Washington188023
Fountain184927
Starke176444
Jay168623
Owen167637
Fulton164830
Orange160935
Carroll159715
Rush156318
Perry155929
Vermillion149734
Franklin149333
Tipton133133
Parke13088
Pike118526
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Pulaski97837
Newton92021
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Ohio4977
Unassigned0376