4 Factors Helped California Pass A Tough Vaccination Law


Publish Date:
July 30, 2015
  • Clifton B. Parker
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Professors Michelle Mello and David Studdert weigh in on California’s new vaccination law, and what it means for the rest of the country, in this Futurity article. 

On June 25, California Gov. Jerry Brown approved a new state law that substantially narrows exceptions to school-entry vaccination mandates. In doing so, California becomes the third state (Mississippi and West Virginia are the others) to disallow exemptions based on both religious and philosophical beliefs. Only medical exemptions remain.

Starting July 1, 2016, all children enrolled in public or private schools or in day care facilities must be vaccinated against whooping cough, measles, and other diseases.

”The move represents a stunning victory for public health that affects not only California schoolchildren, but the prospects for strengthening vaccination requirements nationwide,” write Michelle Mello and David Studdert, professors in both Stanford University’s law and medical schools, in the New England Journal of Medicine.

”There is persuasive evidence that stringent vaccination mandates reduce the risk of vaccine-preventable illness. Less clear is the effect California’s move will have on the politics of vaccination.”