How does the new vaccine law work?
If your children are vaccinated, this law doesn’t affect you
…but it makes a safer and healthier California.
Last school year, more than 98% of children in public schools had received vaccinations.
Senate Bill 277 simply closed an exemption that threatened public health, particularly for the most vulnerable, bringing our state into alignment with national public health practices.
This new law does not require fully immunized students to receive additional vaccinations.
If your school children aren’t vaccinated, what does this mean for you?
Beginning July 1st, 2016, (not this upcoming school year!) parents or guardians of students in any school or child care facility, whether public or private, will no longer be allowed to submit a personal beliefs exemption to a currently-required vaccines.
While the personal belief exemption will no longer be allowed, medical exemptions as determined by a physician are still accepted.
Also, students will not be required to have immunizations for entry if they attend:
- A home-based private school or
- An independent study program with no classroom-based instruction.
The vaccines required by SB 277 are the same vaccines already mandated by California State Law for enrollment into child care facilities, primary and secondary schools.
Specifically, SB 277:
- Eliminated the personal belief exemption (religious and philosophical) from existing school and child care immunization requirements.
- Requires all eligible students to be up-to-date on their vaccinations before entering kindergarten, or the 7th grade, or enrolling in a child care facility.
- Will improve California’s vaccination rate against 10 easily transmittable and potentially deadly diseases.
- Protects California’s most vulnerable populations: infants and toddlers who cannot yet be vaccinated, children and adults medically unable to receive vaccinations, and the elderly.
- Prevents additional illnesses and deaths from preventable diseases, as well as potential widespread public health crises.