April 19, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Vaccination Law Takes Effect, But Under Challenge:

As schools begin opening around California, the state’s new vaccinate-or-stay-out-of-school policy ought to be taking effect at last, more than 18 months after the December 2014 measles outbreak at Disneyland that propelled it.

Under the new law, all students entering kindergarten this fall must have had two measles shots, a mumps and rubella (MMP) vaccination, their final doses of polio vaccine and a diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) injection.

Parents who don’t want to provide these for their kids can home school their children, but unvaccinated kids who may be carrying any of those once-dreaded diseases are no longer welcome in kindergarten. That’s because unless 94 to 96 percent of children in any group of 100 are vaccinated, there can be no guarantee against disease outbreaks.

The most recent California example of what non-vaccination can bring came in Nevada County last March, when many students at the Yuba River Charter School were kept out of classes more than a week after an unvaccinated child was diagnosed with measles. Health officials said the child was infectious while attending school. Classes were shut down because only about 43 percent of kindergarten pupils entering the school in fall 2015 had up-to-date vaccinations and an epidemic could have resulted.

Many of the other 57 percent in those classrooms were exempted because of a “personal belief” provision written into previous state law, allowing parents to claim vaccinations ran counter to their religious beliefs. The new law, known as SB 277, allows exemptions only for children medically unable to receive vaccines, with parents required to produce a doctor’s note before getting that exemption.

Unvaccinated students admitted to kindergarten in previous years will continue in school, however. When they reach 7th grade, their parents will have to provide written evidence of vaccination.

But foes of vaccination, who have long insisted vaccines backfire and lead both to adverse reactions and more disease, are not giving up their fight against the law. Their first move was trying to qualify a referendum for this fall’s ballot aiming to overturn SB 277. They got far too few signatures to qualify it for a vote.

So they’ve turned to a Superior Court judge in San Diego County, seeking an injunction to suspend the law until higher courts can rule on its constitutionality.

That move has also not yet succeeded. But an initiative proposed for the November 2018 ballot aiming to overturn SB 277 remains alive, with a September 26 deadline for gathering signatures.

Amid all this, there are no credible denials of research showing that no more than 86 percent of those at Disneyland had been vaccinated before the day many were exposed to measles. The actual rate may have been as low as 50 percent, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Because the scientifically accepted vaccination level for so-called “herd immunity” is at least 94 percent, there was ample opportunity for infection and 145 cases were recorded among those at the theme park and others who came in contact with them later.

“This is what happens when parents opt out of vaccinations, as roughly half the cases occurred in children who were not vaccinated but were eligible to receive the shots,” wrote Lila Abassi, MD, director of medicine for the American Council on Science and Health.

Because some who have been vaccinated can still contract measles when exposure is strong and direct, as they did at Disneyland, most physicians consider “herd immunity” vital to disease prevention.

Said Democratic state Sen. Richard Pan, SB 277 author and the Legislature’s only practicing pediatrician, “It is unfortunate there are still people who perpetuate misinformation about the safety and efficacy of vaccines and minimize the dangers of vaccine-preventable diseases that disabled and killed millions annually before vaccines were available.”

The safety of vaccines has been proven in myriad studies, and their efficacy is clear from the small incidence of diseases like rubella and polio since vaccines for them were deployed.

But that doesn’t quiet nay-sayers any more than photos from space deflated flat-earth advocates who still hold occasional conventions. What’s important is that parents understand that regardless of their personal preferences, they don’t have the right to expose the children of others to potentially deadly ailments.

in News
Related Posts

Edify TV: $2 Billion Beverly Hills Development Proposed Near Westside

April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021

A developer wants to build a $2 billion condo and retail development flanking the Beverly Hilton hotel. Learn more in...

State Funds Two Additional Sustainable Housing Proposals in Santa Monica

April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021

Proposals are designed to help with affordability and sustainability  By Toi Creel California is paving the way for environmentally-friendly housing...

Santa Monica City Council Rejects Proposed Ban of Certain Items at Protests

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Lawmakers vote down item 4-3 at meeting this week  By Sam Catanzaro  Santa Monica lawmakers rejected a motion this week...

Edify TV: LAFD Announces Likely Cause of Ballona Wetlands Fire

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

The LAFD has revealed the cause of a March fire that destroyed five acres of the Ballona Wetlands. Learn more...

Shake Shack Set to Open in Santa Monica

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

NYC-based burger chain to open at Wilshire and 5th this weekend By Kerry Slater East Coast burger joint Shake Shack...

Restaurant Spotlight: Piccolo Bringing Fine Italian Dining to Santa Monica and Venice

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Latest restaurant from Chef Antonio Mure with two locations on Westside  By Timothy Michael An esteemed chef with deep ties...

Edify TV: Venice Handball Courts Encampment Cleared

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Sanitation crews Thursday cleared a homeless encampment at the Venice Beach handball courts. Learn more in this video made possible...

ArcLight Cinema Santa Monica Closing

April 14, 2021

April 14, 2021

Pacific Theatres will not reopen locations across country due to pandemic  By Sam Catanzaro  The 12-screen ArcLight Cinema complex in...

Westside Cafe Helping Save Monarch Butterflies

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

This Westside cafe is doing its part to keep its namesake insect, the monarch butterfly, safe. Learn more in this...

Junior Lifeguards Returning This Summer

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

County-run program returns to LA County beaches July and August  By Sam Catanzaro A few weeks are left for prospective...

Earth Day Beach Cleanup at Santa Monica Beach

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

Santa Monica Travel & Tourism organizing April 22 event  On Earth Day next week join a “micro-cleanup” to help beautify...

Six Vendors Released on Citation for Fight at Santa Monica Pier

April 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

Santa Monica police cite and release six people involved in Sunday incident By Sam Catanzaro Six individuals were released on...

City Council Passes New Measure to Meet State Affordable Housing Mandate: Santa Monica Beat – April, 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * City Council Passes New Measure to Meet State Affordable Housing Mandate...