California public health officials estimate four in 10 children would be denied a waiver from vaccines required to attend school under a contentious bill to tighten medical exemptions in the state.
State public health officials said they expect students and their families to make 11,500 requests each year seeking an exemption from immunizations due to a medical reason, with 5,000 of those likely to be rejected under the new authority that Senate Bill 276 would grant to the agency.
The bill has prompted immense backlash from some parents, who say their children had adverse reactions to vaccines that would be deemed not severe enough to warrant a medical exemption under the bill. Hundreds of parents have flooded Capitol corridors for hearings and jammed legislators’ office phone lines arguing that the state should not be able to overrule a doctor’s medical advice.
“Someone like my daughter who suffered 16 seizures after her first and only vaccination would not qualify,” said Michelle Sabino of Orange County. “She would be forced to be vaccinated in order to attend kindergarten.”
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