California Governor Jerry Brown signed the controversial mandatory vaccination bill into law today, June 30, making California only the third state in the nation to enact such legislation.“The science is clear,” Brown wrote in his signing statement, “that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases.” By adopting this bill as state law, California becomes the state with the toughest mandatory vaccine legislation on the books. The law effectively bans religious and philosophical exemptions for childhood vaccines for any child who enters public school in the state, beginning with kindergarten. Children currently enrolled in public schools who have an exemption on file will be grandfathered in until they reach the 7th grade, at which time they will be required to catch up with the state-mandated vaccination schedule. The two other (and much smaller) states with similar laws are Mississippi and West Virginia.
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