On Sunday, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law a bill (AB 2109) that requires parents who choose not to have their children vaccinated to submit a signed statement saying that they received information about the risks and benefits of immunization, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.
Details of Law
AB 2109 -- by Assembly member Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) -- requires a signed statement by the parent and by a health care provider.
The law will take effect in January 2014.
Brown said that he will direct the Department of Health to provide an option to avoid having to obtain a health care provider's signature for people choosing not to vaccinate their child because of religious beliefs.
In a statement, Brown said, "This bill is about explaining the value of vaccinations -- both the benefits and risks -- for an individual child and the community." He added that the information "will be valuable even if a parent chooses not to vaccinate."
Pan, a pediatrician, said, "AB 2109 utilizes the expertise of California's 150,000 licensed health care practitioners to inform parents about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, answering specific questions they may have."
Opponents say the law is a form of government coercion that requires parents to overcome bureaucratic hurdles before exercising their legal right to opt out of vaccinations. They also argue that parents could incur cost in obtaining a health care provider's signature (Sanders, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 9/30).
On Sunday, KPCC's "The Latest" reported on Brown signing AB 2109 (Roe/O'Neill, "The Latest," KPCC, 9/30).