This makes me happy. California is finally cracking down on people who don’t vaccinate their kids. A new state law came into effect in July that makes it illegal for children to go to school without vaccines.
Parents used to be able to get around this with a religious exemption, but that is no longer allowed. Parents can either home school their children or vaccinate so their children can go to school.
The law requires vaccinations at the Kindergarten and seventh-grade levels. These are two major milestones in a person’s vaccine schedule. The vaccine schedule in this country, provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has a list of all of the vaccines your child needs from birth up to 18 years of age. After the age of 6, you are supposed to have had most of your vaccines. As a teenager, you will need the meningitis, human papilloma virus (HPV), and tetanus shots. You will also need a flu vaccine annually.
This law comes not long after the American Academy of Pediatrics said that we need to be cracking down on anti-vaxxers (people against vaccinating children).
Geoffrey Simon, the lead author in these findings, said:
“It’s clear that states with more lenient exemptions policies have lower immunization rates, and it’s these states where we have seen disease outbreaks occur as the rates slip below the threshold needed to maintain community immunity. Nonmedical exemptions to immunizations should be eliminated.”
This law came after the heavily-publicized measles outbreak in Disneyland in 2014.
Not only do vaccines help the children who receive them, they also help children who can’t be vaccinated. This concept is called “herd immunity.” When everyone around you is immune, then it protects you from that disease. Newborn children, older people, and people with immune system problems can’t receive the vaccinations. They rely on other people to be vaccinated.