Skeptics News: California considers tough vaccination laws

Following the death of 10 children and more than 90000 cases of whooping cough last year in the California state legislators are considering making it law that children must be vaccinated to attend schools.

The legislation, designed to protect those children who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, gives school districts 30 days to determine if children have received their vaccinations or had a formal exemption from a medical professional. It requires all students between grades seven and 12 to get their shots by the start of the 2011-12 school year.

Whooping cough, also know as pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial disease whose symptoms start off mild but then progress into more severe coughing fits which usually subside after six weeks. In older children and adults the disease is relatively harmless though it poses a real risk to newborn babies and infants under the age of one.

This move has understandably upset proponents of the anti-vaccination movement with sites offering parents guidelines and materials to exempt their children.

The anti-vaccination movement is, in this writers opinion, a damaging and pernicious  movement based on half truths, outright lies and fear. Any moves that promote the evidence based protection of children too young to make their own choices are to be supported.

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