SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A crowd of parents and children gathered at the California Capitol to speak out against a bill requiring school children to get vaccinated.
The bill comes after similar legislation failed to gain ground in both Oregon and Washington, but lawmakers aren’t worried about that happening in California.
Trisha and Jabari Wimbs say their son is not vaccinated, nor will their child be that’s on the way.
“We believe that God gave us the ability to heal from within and he gave us all the tools to heal naturally so we’re willing to risk a childhood illness over risking something more serious like autism,” Trisha said.
Senate Bill 277 would abolish the personal belief exemption allowing children to enroll in school without the legally mandated vaccinations.
“We are seeing ever larger outbreaks of diseases like pertussis, whooping cough, measles, and we certainly don’t want to see those diseases or others that are prevented by vaccines to be spread into our communities,” said state Sen. Richard Pan.
The pediatrician is behind the proposed bill, which had its first public hearing on Wednesday. He argues it’s important for protecting children and the general public.
“We have diseases that are showing up on public transit and restaurants and schools and shopping centers, theme parks, that is not what we want California to be,” he said.
Nurse and new mother Ariel Loop came from Pasadena to testify in favor of SB277. Her 4-month-old son Mobius is too young to be vaccinated and came down with the measles in a recent outbreak that started at Disneyland.
“I was just stunned,” she said. “The idea of him or some other child dying from something as stupid as a fever or the complications of that in 2015 is just unnecessary,” she said.
The bill does not mandate vaccinations, so it’s still a choice between the parent and the doctor. But there are consequences to that choice of not vaccinating.
“Unless you have a medical exemption you can’t send your child to school where there’s other children there who could be put at risk of the disease because your child’s not vaccinated,” Pan said.