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Bill would make it harder for parents to refuse child vaccination

March 1, 2012 |  1:14 pm

Students at a Huntington Park High School get vaccines for whooping cough. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

A proposed California Assembly bill would require parents who don't want their children immunized to first receive information from a health care worker about the risks of not getting the injections.

The bill is authored by Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who said the bill could help reduce infectious outbreaks of whooping cough and other diseases.

"Parents are on the front line when it comes to ... protecting the health of their children and their communities," he said in a statement. "This bill empowers them with up-to-date, accurate information about immunizations."

The number of unvaccinated children has grown over the last decade, partly because some parents fear there is a link between the shots and autism, a theory that has been repeatedly disproved in scientific literature. To opt out of a vaccine now, parents simply fill out a form.

The bill, AB 2109, is sponsored by the California Medical Assn., the American Academy of Pediatrics and the California Immunization Coalition.


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Photo: Students at a Huntington Park high school get vaccines for whooping cough. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times