California lawmakers rushed a bill to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk Thursday that would give schools and parents more time to comply with a new vaccine requirement. It deals with a new state law that took effect at the beginning of this month. That law makes it mandatory for all seventh through twelfth graders to be vaccinated against whooping cough before they start school.
Democratic Senator Christine Kehoe has written a bill that gives schools and parents 30 days from the first day of classes to comply. She says it would keep students from being immediately turned away if they haven’t gotten their shot:
“We’re giving the schools 30 extra days to get their immunization rates up,” said Keho. “In some areas, less than half the children are immunized–in some, even fewer than half are immunized.”
Kehoe says the legislation is urgent because some year-round schools are already starting back up.
Last year in California there were more than nine-thousand cases of whooping cough. Ten infants died from the disease.