Current Events

California will likely pass a law that eradicates ‘personal belief’ exemptions for vaccines

According to a report from CBS San Francisco, a California state law has been introduced that will eliminate the “personal belief” exemption from the state’s already-existing vaccination law.

According to a report from CBS San Francisco, a California state law has been introduced that will eliminate the “personal belief” exemption from the state’s already-existing vaccination law.

If you are a parent who refuses to vaccinate your child, there are currently two ways to go about that legally: one is for medical reasons, and the other is if you have a personal belief system that opposes vaccination. If the new law is passed, the medical exemption will stay in place but the personal belief exemption will be eradicated.

From CBS SF:

The lawmaker who authored the bill is State Senator Richard Pan, who is also a doctor. He’s concerned about the outbreak of measles in California since December and the high numbers of people opting out of vaccines using the personal belief exemption.

The law as it is written so far does not have any religious exemption. And one might not be required. According to a 1944 U.S. Supreme Court case, “the right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill health or death.” In fact, West Virginia and Mississippi do not have religious exemptions.

Technically, if parents still insist on not vaccinating, they can simply homeschool their kids if the personal belief exemption goes away. But analysts agree that those numbers would be likely be small – although not insignificant.

The bill has 26 sponsors, mostly Democrats, but 2 Republicans have also signed on, which makes it likely to pass. With the recent measles and whooping cough outbreaks in California – mostly in affluent communities – politicians can’t afford to punt on the issue anymore from a political standpoint.

In recent months, there has been an uproar of pro-vaccine voters demanding higher rates of vaccination [and politicians] are paying attention. It’s not just California, either – lawmakers in Washington and Oregon are considering closing some vaccine exemptions as well.

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  1. Heather

    March 3, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    That’s all fine and dandy but I hope your prepared for the up rise in medical problems caused by the vaccinations and are prepared for the legal battles that is going to bring.

  2. LOL

    March 3, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    LOL you can’t even spell. Anti-vax= stupidity

  3. JD

    March 3, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    …as opposed to the medical problems from people catching diseases that were supposed to be eradicated?

  4. Ben Hunter (@benjaminhunter)

    March 3, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    People like you are the problem.

  5. Jenny McCarthy

    March 3, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    My sentiments, exactly.

  6. Beckie Brown

    March 3, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    How old were you when you had POLIO? Never, because your parents / guardians wanted you to be VACCINATED to be healthy and live past the age of 5.

  7. MD

    March 3, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Heather, you’re the uninformed reason we need this bill to pass.

    While I’m sure their will be a lawsuit by the anti-vaxers which will fail, there will certainly be many many fewer medical problems caused by the vaccine than by not vaccinating…. which is why all medical professionals strongly recommend getting them.

  8. Dave

    March 3, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    A typical anti -vaxxer reply. “An up rise in medical problems caused by vaccinations? And are prepared for the legal battles that is going to bring!” What exactly is an up rise? I am assuming you are against vaccinations by your comment. I hope to God that your kids don’t contact polio!

  9. Jay

    March 3, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Yep, we are prepared. Pretty easy to do since there are close to no known side affects or long term health concerns for vaccinating, unless you are a lemming taking advice from crackpot doctors with absolutely no understanding of science. Seriously, the scant few “doctors” claiming they have proof of negative side effects are idiots, and those foolish enough to listen to them are nearly as stupid as they.

  10. Chris Mango

    March 3, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    This is amazing news for the safety of children, although I’m sure that people are going to flip out over their personal freedoms of belief and parenting. Believe what you want, but don’t put your child at risk because of your willful ignorance towards modern medicine.

  11. Chris Mango

    March 4, 2015 at 12:00 am

    What evidence do you have that there will be an “up rise in medical problems caused by the vaccinations”? You realize medical exemptions still exist, right?

  12. Jym Small

    March 4, 2015 at 12:46 am

    Vaccines do not cause medical problems… not vaccinating causes medical problems…

  13. Dr Jeffrey Thompson

    March 4, 2015 at 1:06 am

    Big Brother is now in your veins…..

  14. Ben

    March 4, 2015 at 1:18 am

    your both crazy

  15. James Veverka

    March 4, 2015 at 2:38 am

    bull shit fears. nonsense

  16. Dave

    March 4, 2015 at 3:44 am

    I’m not prepared for the rise in communicable diseases if this doesn’t pass.

  17. Ala Deen

    March 4, 2015 at 3:45 am

    This is the best news I’ve heard in ages. Normally, I wouldn’t want the government telling me what to do with my children. In the case of vaccinations, it’s sad that the government needs to make it clear you’re a moron if you’re not vaccinating your children. Plain and simple, if you’re not vaccinating your children, it’s child abuse. You’re a terrible parent, and you deserve to be shamed publicly.

  18. Shane M.

    March 4, 2015 at 5:58 am

    Yeah, we’ll take that risk. I’d like to think if (and when) that doesn’t happen, we won’t have to hear such inanity. Unfortunately, the uneducated masses will likely equate their “precious darling child” coming down with a flu months after their inoculation with a “state sponsored death campaign,” so any actual reprieve will probably be short and sweet.

  19. Shane M.

    March 4, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Oh geez… Doctorate in law or philosophy? 😉

  20. Arwen

    March 4, 2015 at 7:19 am

    “Personal exemption” is not the same as “allergic to ingredients in vaccine” or “compromised immune system.” Those people have legitimate reasons to not get vaccines, and they rely on the rest of us getting vaccines for herd immunity.

  21. karlhungusjr

    March 4, 2015 at 7:41 am

    we already had the rise in medical problems, and that was because of people like you who don’t get their kids vaccinated.

    as for the legal battles. meh. the law is on the side of science for once.

    Your opinion on this isn’t just in the minority, it’s provably and factually wrong.

  22. Alex

    March 4, 2015 at 7:55 am

    how about you go jump off a bridge

  23. Dennis Morgan

    March 4, 2015 at 9:05 am

    WHAT? WHAT rise in medical problems caused by vaccinations?

  24. Chaz

    March 4, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Heather, you mean all zero serious medical issues statistically posed from vaccinations? I think we can handle that.

  25. Gard

    March 4, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Legal battles for sure, but “medical problems caused by the vaccinations” is absurd. The side effects (if any) are minor in comparison to the disease they prevent. We’re just hopefully going back to proper vaccination coverage like there was before.

  26. Ally

    March 4, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Medical exeptions are still in place, so kids allergic to egg proteins or other elements within the vaccinations, or who have pre-existing conditions which make vaccinations problematic to them, still won’t be made to have them. This is just to stop people who don’t want their kids to have vaccinations because they think “messing with God’s creation” or “My kid is a special snowflake” is a valid excuse not to vaccinate them.

    Oh, you’re not one of those people who thinks vaccines cause autism are you? Because that one’s been debunked for years. The one study that implied the link was found to have serious flaws in methodology (including tiny sample size, how samples were gathered, and how conclusions were circumstantial) and the doctor was found to have links to lawyers who wanted to find that link so they could sue. And he was struck off as a result.

  27. mommabearRN

    March 4, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    CAUSED by the vaccinations? How about all the fatal DISEASES caused by NOT vaccinating? clearly you dont remember what it was like BEFORE vaccinations. all it takes is your own child getting polio to change your mind- it will be sad if it comes to that before you do.

  28. Dontbedumb

    March 4, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    If over 90% of the US population is vaccinating already, where is your logic in thinking there will be an increase in medical problems by vaccinating the remaining ~10% (that can be vaccinated)? The consequences of vaccination are immunity to a broad range of deadly or permanently damaging diseases. The complications are rare enough as to be a non-issue; you’re much more likely to be in a debilitating car wreck on the way to the clinic than to have a complication with the vaccine. The consequences from not vaccinating are already evident in the population. It’s not just happenstance that communities that don’t vaccinate are seeing outbreaks of measles and whooping cough. It’s not just happenstance that Pakistan requires polio vaccines BY LAW now because polio is a terrible disease worse than anything a vaccine can give. Try to understand what a vaccine is, what it actually is, and maybe you won’t be so afraid of it.

  29. John Snow

    March 4, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Only someone who hasn’t seen the effects of measles could think it’s preferable to whatever imaginary diseases you think vaccines give people.

  30. Kjell Dahl

    March 4, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    California believe in science not hearsaying.

  31. RH

    March 4, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    There’s still the medical exemption – just because you heard some factually incorrect crap from the rumor mill does not give you the right to ruin herd immunity for some of the deadliest of viruses.

  32. Mr. Derp

    March 4, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Seriously? This is a public health crisis that affects everyone (especially babies too young to be immunized and those with compromised immune systems). I will be very happy if/when this law passes.

  33. holyscrapgirl

    March 4, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Politics is not a good enough reason to take away individual rights.

  34. Steve Darley

    March 5, 2015 at 12:24 am

    It’s about time California

  35. GeekTinker

    March 5, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Then passing the law for it doesn’t solve the very problem the lawmakers are claiming exists. There will still be unvaccinated children out there in society because parents can simply enroll them in a private school or homeschool them. Public schools aren’t the only way that children interact with other children.
    Personally, I don’t think unvaccinated children are the problem. A part of the motivation is the perceived dent to Southern California’s tourism income. This is simply a knee-jerk reaction from politicians.
    If a child can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons or age, then their parents shouldn’t be taking them to places like Disney World, Airports, or otherwise travel with them. It might be a good idea for them to be homeschooled as well.

  36. Joshua Johnson

    March 5, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    No, but protecting the welfare of the general public is.

  37. Orion Jones

    March 5, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Every state should follow suit. I’m all for freedom of beliefs but not freedom of stupidity…

  38. Janice

    March 5, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    Well you just keep you kids in you home and don’t bring them to any public places and all will be just fine. My Grandfather had Polio .. I would never want to see this on another person bc of your personal decision. Just plain stupid. so don’t get your shots and stay in your home. I graduated with over 200 people in my class we all had our “shots” None of us ever had an issue.. get real people. If you don’t want them the live in your own little world.

  39. Brett Childs

    March 5, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Medical problems from vaccinations, you say. Based on which data? Don’t be daft.

  40. Brett Childs

    March 5, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    Individual rights that affect no one but the individual I can go with. Not vaccinating affects the individual and everyone around them.

  41. maradanto

    March 5, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Medical problems like not being vulnerable to whooping cough, measles or polio? Pretty sure the taxpayers are ready to handle such complications.

  42. Obadiah Robert Robinson

    March 5, 2015 at 11:46 pm


  43. Christine Westrom

    March 5, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    What problems? If you want to scare people with vague “problems”, go for it. If you want smart people to listen to you, perhaps you should provide some reputable links to studies and articles that back you up.

  44. Wil Grewe-Mullins

    March 5, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    What you mean his medical problems believed,wrongly, to have been caused by vaccination, despite all of the evidence against that. ALL of the evidence.

  45. Sherrie Swilley-Stroup

    March 6, 2015 at 12:16 am

    If you do not want to vaccinate your children, then keep them at home and away from all public contact with others. What about all the rise in health problems because of not vaccinating. I guess you forgot about that. I guess having a child with severe brain damage, or crippled or losing one to death is more preferrable to you.

  46. Mike Bauer

    March 6, 2015 at 12:37 am

    Sorry, that attitude causes real problems, kills people and endangers the community.

  47. Joseph Harold Anthony

    March 6, 2015 at 1:29 am

    There will be virtually NO “up rise in medical problems caused by vaccinations.” You stand a better chance of winning the lottery than developing a “medical problem” from vaccinations. You anti-vaccination people are a menace to society. The increase in measles and whooping due to lack of vaccinations is the real up rise.

  48. Moon Cat

    March 6, 2015 at 1:29 am


  49. Toni Miracle

    March 6, 2015 at 4:34 am

    I have 4 grandchildren, 3 of them were vaccinated, and soon started showing signs of Autism. And now they are all 3 autistic. So child #4 comes, and he will not be vaccinated!!! There is no proof on either side.

  50. Liam O'Donnell

    March 6, 2015 at 4:35 am

    @ jenny mcarthy. Go back to making bad movies you vapid twit. You have 0 qualifications to speak about medicine. Go to medical school if you want anyone intelligent to take you seriously. By not vaccinating your child, you endanger others, and perhaps you should read reputable studies. There is not one single credible study to support your position on vaccines, just your anecdote about your kid. Vaccines didnt cause the problem. Likely your lifestyle did. Btw i like you better when you arent trying to pretend you’re anything but a b movie bimbo.

  51. dale Fairbanks

    March 6, 2015 at 4:36 am

    You don’t have the right to make other’s sick;

  52. Dan

    March 6, 2015 at 5:01 am

    You are an idiot.

  53. BigDan

    March 6, 2015 at 7:38 am

    This isn’t about politics. This is about protecting children and those unvaccinated do to medical reasons from dangerous and presentable diseases.

  54. SF pro vaxer

    March 6, 2015 at 7:47 am

    It’s not an individual right when it imperils the weakest people in your community. It’s like saying driving with no brakes on a playground is a individual right.

  55. Tyler

    March 6, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    You do know that vaccine reactions are so rare as to be considered practically non-existent, right?

  56. Tyler

    March 6, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    What about the risk of eradicating large swathes of society as plague sweeps the nation?

  57. Adam J. Gillis

    March 6, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Or getting the mumps as an adult, really not fun at all. Speaking from personal experience.

  58. anonymous

    March 6, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    There is no medical problems caused from vaccines unless you have and underlying medical conditions and the people who do have underlying conditions do not have to get vaccanated. I hate the ignorance that put the lives of our children in danger.

  59. PJ Yusten

    March 6, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Joking right? If not your ignorance amazes me.

  60. PJ Yusten

    March 6, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Hey, someone has to safeguard these kids from the ignorance of their parents.

  61. PJ Yusten

    March 6, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    It’s called scientific evidence. Deal with it. If you’d rather take the chance your kids get measles, then home school. Your ignorance doesn’t entitle you to infect innocent children.

  62. Guillermo

    March 6, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Shane, neither lawyers nor PhD’s deserve to be presumed as the group this crackpot belongs to. His doctorare must be in theology. 🙂

  63. Shelley Jones Beek

    March 6, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    It is interesting to read all the comments about”science” from people who have no real idea what that means. In this case it means no longterm controlled studies on vaccination safety or health outcomes – ever. It means 4000 claims paid by the National Vaccination Injury Court in the amount of $3 billion – paid for by taxpayers. It means lower rates of measles infection in the US in the same years that countries with higher vaccination rates had higher rates of measles infection. The story on vaccines is not 100% understood at this time. I am not against vaccinations but I am against taking away informed consent. And I am in favor of real, controlled, longterm vaccination safety and health outcome studies.

  64. marilyn

    March 6, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    IF that is realized, easily offset by the savings of those not requiring medical help from measles and all of the far reaching side effects.

  65. Catrina Debar

    March 6, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Heather, it’s YOU ARE OR YOU’RE.

  66. ruby

    March 6, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    check out the pharmaceutical company astroturfing going on in this thread, phew! I just hope these forced-vaccine happy politicians are ready for the fallout when they realize the feigned support for removing mandates was all staged pr… the pro forced vax petition I’ve seen with the most votes is having a hard time reaching 25,000… And in the meantime: and counting… in the meantime, people opting to maintain sovereignty over their bodies are welcome in TX, where this kind of ridiculous legislation doesn’t have a great shot of even making it out of committee…

  67. Jarrett Kaufman (TurboFool)

    March 6, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    This isn’t politics. This is HEALTH and SAFETY of all citizens.

    But everything is “just politics” when you boil it away to something you disagree with.

  68. Jarrett Kaufman (TurboFool)

    March 6, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Except that’s a big enough bar to entry that it be pretty much irrelevant. Most people can’t afford public school or homeschooling, but ANYONE can afford to claim a personal issue with vaccines. There is no perfect solution, but this is still a very big improvement.

  69. Mike

    March 6, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Politics isn’t the reason being used here. Health is.

  70. moladood

    March 7, 2015 at 12:09 am

    Individual rights should not kill kids

  71. moladood

    March 7, 2015 at 12:11 am

    Shouldn’t this rise already exist given vaccination rates? So what you are saying is get ready for the same or better health.

  72. tim

    March 7, 2015 at 3:05 am

    Compared with brain damaged and dead kids from preventable diseases whose parents will sue the non vaccinators….
    Sorry but it is time to grow up and learn some real science and listen to us doctors who worked in the pre vaccination era. Your ignorance and stupidity in the face of clear irrefutable facts instead of ridiculous pseudoscience is sad to see.

  73. Ruby...don't take your love to town

    March 7, 2015 at 6:31 am

    Your delusion is comical. This is a public health issue and you are clearly on the wrong side of history despite your apparent ability to google internet petitions.

  74. Sheri

    March 7, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Wow…that is quite the comment. That’s sad to me. If you are vaccinated, then you should be fine, right? Unlike you, I sure hope that you don’t die or have several complications from any vaccination that you have received and will continue to receive because there will be another new thing that your “doctor” tells you that you need to have. I also hope that your children and grandchildren may have healthy immune / nervous systems.

  75. Melissa

    March 7, 2015 at 11:51 am

    So I read that you have 3 living grandchildren, Congratulations I would prefer that over a child that becomes severely debilitated or that died from the Viruses that Vaccines help to prevent. My oldest child is Autistic my younger two are not all are Vaccinated the difference? My oldest is from a previous relationship, AUTISM IS IN YOUR GENES NOT FROM VACCINES.

  76. Susan

    March 7, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    All your grandchildren share genetic information and have similar environments. It makes as much sense to blame the peanut butter their pregnant moms ate or the sunburn their fathers had at age 12 as blaming the vaccines.

  77. Common Sense

    March 7, 2015 at 11:40 pm


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  80. jadecary

    March 18, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    You can only use the medical exemption if your child has been injured by a vaccine, and they are only exempt from getting that vaccine, according to the bill in CA.

  81. gb

    March 20, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Both of my children have had horrible reactions and almost died the last round of vaccinations. Weird part is none of their reactions were ever documented with the feds. Guess hard to have true numbers if they are not documented.

  82. gb

    March 20, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Not sure how you can say that. Both of my children almost died from the vaccinations and the dr and hospital never turned the information in. Guess hard to have accurate figures when not reported. Why worry if you are vaccinated and believe they work.

  83. Tyler

    March 22, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Was this story confirmed by medical tests? Do you have supporting documentation to prove this actually happened?

  84. dj

    March 23, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    public health issue my ass – Despite the existing allegedly horrifyingly low vaccination rates: ZERO new cases of measles reported in CA in the past week, 1 i the past 2 weeks. Pro-vaccine trolls are tool bags of the pharma industry. Public health policy DEMANDS informed consent.

  85. bbmomma

    April 9, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Through this powerful 30-second ad, Karen Kain reveals how her daughter Lorrin’s life radically changed 2 hours after being vaccinated as an infant.

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