Jul 012015
 

Your support made a difference for California children!

Gov. Jerry Brown signed immunization legislation today to help ensure all students have a safe and healthy school environment. Thanks to all our members who took action and spoke up to support Senate Bill 277! See photos from the press conference.

“Senate Bill 277 is important legislation that will help make a difference for California’s children, who need and deserve safe school environments,” said California State PTA President Colleen A.R. You. “We strengthen our communities and protect the most vulnerable by requiring all medically eligible children to be vaccinated against dangerous – and preventable – diseases. We applaud Gov. Brown, Sen. Richard Pan and Sen. Ben Allen, and all our members and advocates who helped make the voices of vulnerable children heard.”

SB 277 will eliminate the personal-belief exemption and have all medically eligible children immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases, thus protecting vulnerable children in California schools. Currently, children entering the school system or child care are required to be immunized against various communicable diseases unless they medically cannot receive immunizations, or unless immunization is contrary to personal beliefs. SB 277 removes the personal-belief exemption while preserving the medical exemption.

Public discourse about SB 277 has been charged with emotion – and at times, the volume has been turned way up – and we understand that. PTA has a long track record of encouraging and training parents from all backgrounds to learn about education and health issues, and to advocate for their children. It is a good thing when the voice of parents is heard in local school board rooms and in state capitol committee rooms.

“We also have a long history of speaking up for all children, especially those who need an extra voice. And that is why California State PTA supports SB 277,” added You.

While several dangerous and potentially deadly diseases are no longer common in the U.S. due to decades of public-health immunization efforts, they persist where vaccinations are not readily available.
“It’s important that we continue to protect our children with vaccines because outbreaks of harmful – but preventable — diseases can and do occur right here at home.”

 

Watch President You’s speech on the SB 277 signing.