On Thursday the California state Assembly voted to significantly limit immunization exemptions for school-aged children, prompted by a measles outbreak last year at Disneyland. The bill, if approved by the governor, would make California the third state to eliminate both religious and personal vaccine exemptions.
The bill was amended to allow children with existing exemptions additional time before they must be vaccinated; personal belief exemptions filed before January 1, 2016 will remain in effect until the children complete the “grade spans” (birth to preschool, kindergarten to sixth grade, and seventh to 12th grades).
Children with medical exemptions are not required to be immunized; unvaccinated children without a medical exemption will have to be homeschooled or attend an organized, private homeschooling group.
The bill will return to the state Senate for approval of the amendments and will need to be signed by Governor Jerry Brown for it to go into effect.