California governor signs bills limiting vaccine exemptions

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

Posted: Sep 10, 2019 8:41 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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Confirmed Cases: 134231

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CountyConfirmedDeaths
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Mobile13271291
Montgomery8778179
Madison775480
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Lee582961
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Colbert163626
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Pike11879
Chambers115142
Tallapoosa114685
Clarke107717
Marion95729
Butler91339
Barbour8577
Winston73712
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Lowndes65327
Pickens65114
Bibb64210
Randolph63713
Hale62828
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Clay5707
Washington55613
Perry5407
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Crenshaw53132
Wilcox53111
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Macon48020
Fayette4438
Sumter43419
Lamar3632
Choctaw34612
Cleburne3396
Greene30315
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Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 187690

Reported Deaths: 2312
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30460452
Davidson26252298
Hamilton928791
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Williamson516536
Sumner475896
Wilson341844
Putnam320139
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Washington223935
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Trousdale16517
Gibson160922
Hardeman154826
Wayne14905
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Dyer131813
Dickson123515
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Fayette117418
Coffee116613
Weakley115719
Anderson115312
Henderson115322
Carter114728
Obion11389
Loudon11356
Greene112943
McMinn110025
Jefferson109714
Macon103520
Warren10267
Monroe102217
Lawrence101211
Hardin100516
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Haywood95418
Franklin9518
Lake9142
Roane8724
Carroll85819
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White8139
Cheatham80610
Rhea79812
Hawkins78316
Cocke7419
Marshall7415
Overton7135
Smith69810
Johnson6752
Henry6139
Chester60910
Lincoln6031
Giles58017
Hickman5585
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