By Lawrence A. Ajalat
Currently, California law prohibits schools and other institutions (nurseries, day care, etc.) from admitting any person as a student until he or she has been fully immunized against various diseases, such as hepatitis B, chicken pox, and rubella. However, the law allows a parent or guardian to easily “opt out” of the vaccination requirement by signing a letter or affidavit stating that the immunization is “contrary to their beliefs.”
Making it a bit more difficult to “opt out,” Governor Brown signed AB 2109, which requires that the opt-out letter be accompanied by a written statement signed by a doctor (or other health care practitioner) that the parent was advised of the benefits and risks of the immunization and the health risks of specified communicable diseases. The form, which must be signed no more than six months before the start of school, will also require the parent to sign a statement that they received the information from the doctor. The new law becomes effective on July 1, 2013.
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