Nearly three-quarters of California residents support vaccinations, according to a new poll released on Wednesday from the Public Policy Institute of California.
Of the 1,713 adults that were surveyed by the institute, close to 75 percent of them think parents should vaccinate their children. Nearly eight in ten say they're concerned about a recent measles outbreak that's seen 981 cases across the nation, including 47 here in California.
"We find partisan differences on almost everything today. This is a topic when there isn’t a partisan difference on whether vaccinations should be required," the institute’s president and CEO Mark Baldassare told the Sacramento Bee. "And virtually all Californians say its very or somewhat safe."
Lawmakers in Sacramento are currently debating a bill sponsored by State senator Richard Pan that would take away a doctor's authority to issue vaccine exemptions to their patients. Instead, parents who wish to not vaccinate their children would have to get approval from a State Department of Health Official for the exemption before it could be granted to the patient.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he's skeptical of any plan that takes a parent's ability to make choices for their family away.
"I like doctor-patient relationships. Bureaucratic relationships are more challenging for me,” Newsom told reporters last weekend at the California Democratic Party convention in San Francisco. "I’m a parent. I don’t want someone that the governor appointed to make a decision for my family."
California has some of the strictest vaccination laws in the nation and requires school children to have up-to-date immunizations before they can attend public or private schools. Doctors can excuse a child from some or all of the vaccinations if they believe there is a valid medical reason for doing so.
SB 276 passed the Senate on May 22 and is currently working its way through the state Assembly for consideration later this summer. Opponents to the bill say doctors, and not state public health officials, should be the ones in charge of vaccinations.
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