Calif. lawmaker eyes axing schools’ personal belief exemption for COVID vaccine

Before the pandemic, vaccine policy bills were routinely one of the hottest-tempered bills debated in the California Capitol. Sen. Richard Pan’s latest measure will likely be no different.

A newly-introduced California bill would eliminate a personal belief exemption in school-based COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

Democratic Sen. Richard Pan introduced the Keep Schools Open and Safe Act on Monday in Los Angeles, the Associated Press reported.


Pan, a Sacramento-based pediatrician, says the law is needed to ensure that children are educated.

The legislation would build on a 2015 law that eliminated the personal belief exemption for all other childhood vaccinations required for schoolchildren.

The 2015 measure was followed up by a 2019 measure to narrow the list of exemptions for various inoculations.

Debate on that measure became so heated that anti-vaccination protesters threw a bloody menstrual cup at lawmakers on the floor of the California State Senate, forcing the body to shutdown debate and reconvene in new environs.

Pan’s 2022 bill comes on the heels of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s October coronavirus vaccine mandate for schoolchildren, the first in the nation.

It also arrives days after a bill was introduce to enable children aged 12-18 to get vaccinated without parental consent.

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