Community Health, Youth Voices
Worries among physicians and public health officials about the numbers of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children have prompted Senate Bill 277, which would end the personal belief exemption that currently allows parents to opt out of vaccinating their children. The legislation is a response to the resurgence of whooping cough and last year’s acute escalation of measles cases – dozens were traced to children at Disneyland, and one local outbreak involved a Long Beach college student who exposed at least 20 other students. The disease was considered eliminated in the U.S. by the Centers for Disease Control in 2000. “It is not fair to jeopardize the health of other children because of one’s own personal beliefs. There are a few unhealthy people that can not be immunized and it is our responsibility to protect these people too. This is not just a personal decision but a public health decision.” The full report is on Voicewaves.