On June 30, 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 277 into law, which eliminates the personal-belief exemption for childhood vaccines in the state of California. Now, the only way parents can have their child exempt from vaccination is through a medical exemption, and there are very few approved reasons for medical exemption. Some that are allowed include chemotherapy, an allergy to a particular vaccination, and taking part in immunity-suppression therapy for some sort of a chronic disease. California is now the third state that has barred personal-belief and religion exemptions for vaccines, which has left some concerned parents with questions about what exactly they can do to exercise their personal freedoms to parent as they wish.
According to a report in Vice Magazine, one thing parents can do is take advantage of a grandfathering rule that allows parents to use a personal-belief exemption for their children to get shots until they reach the next grade level. For example, if your child is in the third grade and you use a personal-belief exemption, you do not have to worry about getting up to date shots for him or her until the next grade level, which is seventh grade. This could buy time as lobbyists fight to get the law appealed – even if they have to take it to the Supreme Court. Parents have until January 1st of next year to seek the personal-belief exemption.
In addition to that you can support those groups that are trying to fight the law. One such group in California is the California Chiropractic Association who are advocating for living a more natural life that is devoid of Big Pharma and surgery whenever it’s possible. They also contend that parents should have the right to raise their children as they wish. By supporting groups like these who may have the ear of the lawmakers, it might be possible to see the law amended or repealed altogether.
Finally, you can do more research to stay informed of the latest issues related to childhood vaccination. The Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute has a number of resources out there, including peer-reviewed studies showing possible linkage of vaccines to chronic diseases (Asthma, Auto-immune Disorders, Alzheimer’s, etc.) later on in life. By getting more informed about childhood vaccinations, you can be better prepared to make decisions for yourself and be your and your child’s own advocate.