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California Governor Gavin Newsom Signs Bills Limiting Vaccine Exemptions Amid Protests At Capitol

New bills passed after recent measels outbreaks California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, signed a bill this week that limits vaccine exemptions in the wake of measles epidemics in the state....

(Photo Credit: Alex Edelman/Getty Images)

New bills passed after recent measels outbreaks

California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, signed a bill this week that limits vaccine exemptions in the wake of measles epidemics in the state. The bill has triggered backlash from anti-vaccine activists who believe, among other things, that vaccines cause autism.

The theory that vaccines cause autism has been widely debunked, but misinformation around vaccines remains abundant.

California outlawed non-medical exemptions last year for people who have “personal belief” exemptions to receiving vaccines. Now, the state is cracking down on illegitimate medical exemptions. It will also investigate school districts that have an immunization rate lower than 95 percent.

“This legislation provides new tools to better protect public health, and does so in a way that ensures parents, doctors, public health officials and school administrators all know the rules of the road moving forward,” Governor Newsom said.

But anti-vaccine protesters stormed the State Capitol in Sacramento, holding upside-down American flags. They chanted “we will not comply.”

The protesters had the support of several Republicans in the California Assembly, who said revoking vaccine exemptions is a prime example of government overreach. They said it should be up to the parent to decide what is best for their child.

“This goes past vaccines and is again a major government overreach,” Devon Mathis, a Republican from Visalia, said.

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