COVID-19 · Modesto

Another Valley county joins choir against Calif. student COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Another Central Valley county has joined in the opposition to a proposed state law that would require all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Tuesday, the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a formal letter to the state in opposition to Senate Bill 871.

SB 871, authored by Sacramento Democrat Richard Pan, would prohibit schools and other institutions from admitting anyone as a pupil of any public or private schools, childcare centers, day nurseries, nursery schools, family day care homes or development centers unless they received the COVID-19 vaccine.

With Tuesday’s action, Stanislaus County joined Tulare County with formal letters of opposition to the proposed bill.

In addition to mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for all students, SB 871 would also remove the personal belief exemption that has been available for parents to keep their children from being vaccinated.

The personal belief exemption would also be removed for any future immunization requirements that the state enacts. 

“Removing the personal belief exemption denies the rights of parents to make COVID-19 vaccination decisions for their children,” the letter reads.

“The Board strongly believes residents, in consultation with their health care providers, should have the freedom to decide what’s best for their health and the health of their families. With restrictions and mandates ending across the state and nation, now is not the time to further divide people and force parents into choosing between in-person education and private study.”

SB 871 was introduced to the state Legislature in January and is currently being reviewed by the Senate Health Committee.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.