[REGIONAL NEWS] California vaccine-exemption crackdown amended to pull back on state control

As a surging number of California parents forgo required vaccines for their children because of health concerns, the lawmaker behind the state’s mandatory vaccination law wants to remove the power to grant those exemptions from individual doctors.
Photo: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

By Dustin Gardiner | San Francisco Chronicle 

The author of California legislation to require state approval of all childhood vaccination exemptions pulled back Tuesday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said the measure would inject government bureaucracy into doctor-patient decisions.

State Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, who proposed the legislation, unveiled amendments that would limit the number of medical exemptions that would have to be approved by the state Department of Public Health. Even with the amendments, however, tens of thousands of existing student exemptions could be subject to state review.

Opponents of mandatory childhood vaccinations said they would continue to fight the bill, maintaining it would criminalize doctors who protect children from what the opponents say are vaccines’ potential side effects.


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