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California Senate Passes Controversial Vaccine Bill

  

UPDATE 11:22 a.m. -- (AP) - State senators have passed a controversial bill aimed at increasing California's school immunization rates.

The bill approved Thursday would prohibit parents from seeking vaccine exemptions for their children because of religious or personal beliefs.

UPDATE: 10:45 a.m. -- California's Senate approved a controversial vaccine bill with a 25-10 vote Thursday. 

Capital Public Radio will have more on this story this afternoon.

Original Story -- (AP) - State senators are taking up a controversial bill aimed at increasing California's school immunization rates.

Democratic senators Ben Allen of Santa Monica and Richard Pan of Sacramento say they will seek approval of their SB277 in the Senate on Thursday.

The bill would prohibit parents from seeking vaccine exemptions for their children because of religious or personal beliefs.

Medical waivers would be available only for children who have health problems, forcing unvaccinated children to be homeschooled.

California would join Mississippi and West Virginia as the only states with such strict requirements if the bill becomes law.

The bill first needs to pass the Senate and Assembly and win approval from Gov. Jerry Brown.

Hundreds of parents who oppose the vaccine mandate have flooded the Capitol to protest in recent weeks.