Governor Signs SB277 Eliminating Personal Exemptions for Vaccinations

Sacramento, California | Tuesday, June 30, 2015

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Today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed March of Dimes-supported SB 277 into law.  Here you will find our March of Dimes California SB 277 Fact Sheet along with an infographic regarding measles in the United States and adult vaccination recommendations.  Governor Jerry Brown released a statement  upon his signing of SB 277.


March of Dimes California applauds Governor Jerry Brown for signing SB 277 into law, and thanks bill co-authors Senators Richard Pan and Ben Allen for their leadership in bringing this bill forward.  Vaccine exemptions are putting the public and California’s children at risk and threaten to erase years of progress.


The March of Dimes has long supported efforts to increase immunization coverage and was in fact founded more than 75 years ago with a mission to prevent polio and funded the research that produced vaccines that have virtually eliminated polio worldwide.  Immunizations are one of the most cost-effective and successful public health interventions.   Public participation in immunization programs is critical to their effectiveness. Protection is greatly affected by rates of immunization: the more people immunized, the less the risk of exposure of everyone to, and illness from, vaccine-preventable infections.  This bill will help to protect the health of all children, particularly those who are too young or too vulnerable – such as those born prematurely -  to be immunized themselves. 


As Governor Brown said in his signing statement, and March of Dimes California strongly agrees, “The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases.  While it’s true that no medical intervention is without risk, the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects the community…SB 277 exempt(s) a child from immunizations whenever the child’s physician concludes that there are ‘circumstances, including but not limited to, family medical history, for which the physician does not recommend immunization.’ Thus, SB 277, while requiring that school children be vaccinated, explicitly provides an exception when a physician believes that circumstances – in the judgement and sound discretion of the physician – so warrant.”

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

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