SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Imagine your child’s health being controlled by someone else.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law Tuesday that no longer allows parents to use religious or personal reasons to not vaccinate their children. Parents can only send unvaccinated children to school if they have a doctor’s note.
Ira Helfand of Family Medical Center told 22News, “People should be able to make choices for themselves and what they want to do. But we recognize that people in society don’t have perfect freedom. You can’t drive your car 150 mph down the city street, because you’re endangering other people.”
The new law called “SB 277” follows an outbreak of measles that started in Disneyland and made 147 people sick in the U.S and Mexico.
According to a Pew Research poll, 83-percent of Americans said that getting vaccines for diseases such as measles and mumps are safe for healthy children.
Opponents say the new law takes away their right to choose.
Public Schools can refuse to enroll unvaccinated Children.
The United States is one of the few countries where states and school districts require proof of vaccination. There is no legal requirement to vaccinate children, though some say there should be.
Sherry Sykes, a mother of 13, told 22News, “I’m with them on that. I think they should. I think you should vaccinate your children. It’ll keep them healthy.”
Parents can home-school children who are not vaccinated.
Helfand said, “We just have to understand that if we’re going to live in a society, we have responsibilities to the entire society, and we need to take those seriously.”
91-percent of children in the U.S. get the combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine before they enter preschool.