By Elizabeth Aguilera
California has a new vaccination law on the books. It cracks down on inappropriate use of medical exemptions that allow kids to skip some or all vaccines and still enter school. It gives power over the exemption process to public health officials and will create a vaccination database of all children with medical dispensation.
Supporters of the law are pleased that doctors will no longer be the final authority on medical exemptions and could be investigated if they write too many. The more children who get vaccines, the safer schools will be for all kids, the proponents say.
Critics fear the law will effectively shut down access to waivers for kids who could be harmed by vaccines, which carry some risk, or who need them for other medical reasons. Doctors may fear the investigative provisions of the law, opponents say, and thousands of children could even be tossed out of school if they are not fully up-to-date on vaccines.