You know those mandatory vaccination bills that were signed by Governor Jerry Brown after the measles outbreak linked to Disneyland in Anaheim? Well, in honor of the Mouse's relationship with Star Wars, prepare for the anti-vaxx empire striking back. Opponents of vaccinations for nearly all California schoolchildren submitted signatures this week in an attempt to qualify a referendum to overturn the law.
"This referendum is not about vaccinations; it is about defending the fundamental freedom of a parent to make an informed decisions for their children without being unduly penalized by a government that believes it knows best," said former Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, the voter initiative's proponent.
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His boosters--who we'll guess include the anti-vaxx cluster in South Orange County--will have to have gathered valid signatures from 365,880 registered voters--5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2014 general election--to qualify the referendum for the November 2016 ballot, according to Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
They aim to overturn SB 277, which was signed into law by Brown on June 30. It eliminates vaccination exemptions based on religious or personal beliefs, requiring all children entering kindergarten to be vaccinated unless a doctor certifies that a child has a medical condition, such as allergies, preventing it.
The legislation was, of course, prompted by the measles outbreak traced to Disneyland that began in late December and ultimately spread to more than 130 people across the state. Cases were also reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah, Washington state and Mexico.