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California Vaccine Requirement Bill Gets First Public Debate

Eduardo Verdugo / AP
 

Eduardo Verdugo / AP

(AP) - A bill that would require California parents to vaccinate their children is getting its first public hearing after similar proposals in Washington and Oregon failed to advance.

The California Senate's health committee on Wednesday will hear SB277 by Sen. Richard Pan, a Democratic pediatrician from Sacramento.

He and Democratic Sen. Ben Allen, a former Santa Monica school board member, want all California schoolchildren to get vaccinated unless a child's health is in danger.

If passed, California would join Mississippi and West Virginia as the only other states with such strict vaccine rules.

Similar bills have been proposed in other states after a measles outbreak at Disneyland in December. But the proposals have received pushback from opponents including Robert Kennedy Jr., the son of former U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy.