SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California lawmakers have advanced a bill that would require schoolchildren in the state to be vaccinated.
The measure passed out of the Senate Health Committee on a 6-2 vote Wednesday evening after impassioned testimony from supporters and opponents.
Under the proposal, parents would no longer be able to send unvaccinated kids to school with waivers citing religious or personal beliefs. Exemptions would be available only for children with health problems.
Supporters say the measure would increase the number of vaccinated young people and improve public health.
Opponents say vaccines can be as dangerous as the diseases they aim to fight and that the bill would trample parental rights.
If the bill passes, California would join Mississippi and West Virginia as the only states with such strict rules.
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