The Assembly Committee on Health has approved SB 792, authored by State Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), which will protect California children in day care from contracting serious diseases by requiring family day care home and day care center workers to be vaccinated against measles, pertussis and influenza.
As recently as 2000, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declared that measles was eliminated from the United States, which was made possible due to a highly effective vaccination program and better measles control.
However, from Dec. 28, 2014 to April 10, 2015, there have been 134 confirmed cases of measles in California, according to the California Department of Public Health.
The outbreak likely originated from a traveler who visited Disneyland while contagious.
Additional cases emerged, including a Bay Area Rapid Transit passenger with measles who traveled from Millbrae to San Francisco, potentially exposing more than 1,500 riders.
Additionally, in 2013-2014, there were 404 confirmed deaths from influenza, including 10 pediatric deaths.
“One child’s death is one too many, especially when it may be preventable. With the recent deadly outbreaks of measles and influenza, we must do everything in our power to protect California’s children who spend time in day care,” Mendoza said. “SB 792 will require all day care center and day care home personnel to be vaccinated. This is not just a common sense solution, but makes scientific sense.”
SB 792 protects young, vulnerable children by requiring pre-school and day care workers to be immunized against influenza, pertussis and measles. Currently, there are no immunization requirements for day care workers.
Children in day care have close, intimate contact with each other and staff. Until they are fully vaccinated, children rely on those around them to maintain their immunizations to stop the spread of disease, Mendoza said.
Many of the children are too young to be fully immunized against potentially serious communicable diseases. Children are vaccinated against diseases according to a schedule determined by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
For information, visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines.