California law takes effect today: Vaccinate schoolchildren or keep them home

California law takes effect today: Vaccinate schoolchildren or keep them home

With the new school year underway, California is cracking down on parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.

Since a new law took effect in July, no longer will a child be able to attend class unimmunized on the basis of a parent’s objections.

In the past, parents could sidestep vaccine mandates by declaring that the injections were contrary to their religious or personal beliefs. This occurred despite overwhelming evidence from doctors and public health officials that they are safe and effective in preventing infectious diseases.

Tens of thousands of vaccine-refusing parents across California now face three options: yield, tutor your children at home or pack up and leave the state.

But if there is to be any exodus from California schools, expect it to unfold slowly.

The law, known as SB 277, only requires proof of immunizations as children enter school for the first time or the seventh grade. That means many won’t have to vaccinate for years or, if they’re in eighth grade and above, at all.

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