California Just Made a Very Bold Move Against Anti-Vaxxers

June 25th 2015

Sarah Gray

The topic of vaccines is back in the headlines after the California State Assembly passed a bill Thursday approving one of the most strict vaccine requirements in the nation. The law has now cleared the first major hurdle and is on the road to becoming a law. The legislation would stop parents from not vaccinating their children because of personal or religious beliefs and would require that children must have vaccines for diseases such as whopping cough and measles before entering kindergarten. Children with immune deficiencies and allergies can get a doctor approved exemption for the requirement.

The legislation passed the California Assembly 46-31, along party lines. Supporters say this piece of legislation will protect all children from outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Those who are opposed to the bill say it violates parents' rights to make decisions for their children.

"As a mother, I understand the decisions we make about our children’s health care are deeply personal," Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), said. "While I respect the fundamental right to make that decision as a family, we must balance that with the fact that none of us has the right to endanger others."

The legislation was proposed in response to low vaccination rates in certain California communities and a measles outbreak at Disneyland that infected 130 people. Though some people identify as anti-vaccination, there's not a debate among scientists over whether children should be vaccinated. An overwhelming number of scientists -- 86 percent -- believe that children should be vaccinated, according to a Pew Research Center from January 2015. Only 68 percent of the general public believe that children should be vaccinated.

In this video, SciShow explains the cognitive dissonance, which explains why some people are against vaccinations.