To: The California State House, The California State Senate, and Governor Gavin Newsom

Make Vaccines Mandatory to Attend California Schools

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We are petitioning the California State Government to require all California school children, except for those with specific medical conditions, to be fully vaccinated. We would also require all California schools to inform parents of the current percentage vaccinated rate of all enrolled students. This would eliminate "Personal Belief Exemptions," which are used to opt out of vaccines for non-medical reasons.

Why is this important?

California is currently on track to have the biggest measles outbreak in a decade: 133 cases, all but 3 linked to Disneyland in December. An additional 41 cases have occurred across the US, including a recent surge in Canada of 119 confirmed measles cases, most traced back to California. The majority of cases in this ongoing outbreak occurred in unvaccinated individuals. It is only a matter of time before people start dying (1-2 per 1,000).

The California Department of Public Health has also reported a sharp rise in the incidence of pertussis (whooping cough) over the past four years, declaring this disease an epidemic in 2014. By March 15, 2015, according the California Department of Public Health, two babies died from pertussis in California this year. Both of these diseases are dangerous and can be deadly. Yet they are preventable with appropriate immunization.

The Los Angeles Times and numerous other media sources have published data on vaccine rates in California showing the widespread use of the “personal belief exemption” (CA Code 120365) by parents to excuse their children from mandatory vaccinations. In some schools the vaccination rates are lower than some developing countries.
Public health officials have tied the rise in measles and pertussis to the lowering of the vaccination rate. If this trend continues, the immunity of the entire population is threatened (known as ‘herd immunity’). Dangerous communicable diseases will spread further, and will also affect people who have been vaccinated—those with weakened immune systems, the very young, the very old, and the like. We bear a responsibility to raise our immunization rates and protect our communities both near and far.
This petition seeks to address falling vaccination rates by requiring all children to be vaccinated in order to attend California schools unless they have a medical condition that precludes it.

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