Anti-Vaxxers Just Got Some Bad News

August 28th 2016

Laura Donovan

United States District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego refused to block California's new vaccination law, which requires vaccinations for children in public and private schools, with the exception of those who have a medical waiver, the Los Angeles Times reported.

This comes after more than a dozen families and two foundations sued for an injunction against the new law, which went into effect in July and removed the religious and personal beliefs exception from school inoculation requirements, according to CBS News. The law states that children must be vaccinated before starting school or going to day care.

Plaintiffs' attorney, Jim Turner said that the children of his clients will not be allowed to go to school as the suit continues. “The lawsuit could carry on for a period time, probably a year or two, with the motions and counter motion and activity," he said in a statement to CBS News.

Judge Sabraw argued during his injunction denial that "society has a compelling interest in fighting the spread of contagious diseases through mandatory vaccination of school-age children," and that religious practices do not "outweigh the state’s interest in public health and safety."

According to the map below from Mother Jones, during the 2013-2014 school year, 88.8 - 92.6 percent of kindergartners were vaccinated in California.

vax rates

And while the U.S. median vaccination rate during the 2013-2014 school year was 94.7 percent, according to Mother Jones, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saw a higher number of measles cases in 2014. And some states, including California, have seen a decline in vaccinations.

Last year, California State Senators Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) proposed SB 277 in response to the highly publicized measles outbreaks at Disneyland in 2014. Many of those who got measles were not vaccinated, public health authorities said at the time. Through the bill, the lawmakers sought to improve the health and immunity of Californians by requiring vaccinations in schools.

“Measles is a highly contagious and potentially life-threatening disease, and SB 277 was passed last year to boost community immunity and prevent outbreaks like the one now occurring in Nevada County," Pan, a pediatrician, said in a statement in March. "When schools begin to implement the new law this fall and more children are vaccinated, we will begin to boost our immunity levels which have declined to dangerously low levels in many communities in the state.”

[H/T San Francisco Chronicle]