Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed SB 792 authored by Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia). The bill is aimed at protecting California children in day care from contracting serious, potentially fatal diseases by requiring family day care home and day care center workers and volunteers to be vaccinated against measles, pertussis and influenza. SB 792 will go into effect on Jan. 1.
“With the deadly outbreaks of measles and influenza this year, we must do everything in our power to protect California’s children who spend time in day care,” Mendoza said. “If this new law can prevent the loss of even one child due to a communicable disease, then it will be considered a success. Because one child’s death is one too many, especially when it may be preventable.”
As recently as 2000, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declared that measles was eliminated from the United States. This was made possible due to a highly effective vaccination program and better measles control.
However, from Dec. 28, 2014 to April 10 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 became infected overseas with measles and visited Disneyland in Anaheim while contagious.
“As a consequence, public health officials have been sounding the alarm that more should be done to protect the most vulnerable populations such as children and seniors,” Mendoza said.
SB 792 requires caregivers at day care centers and family day care homes to be immunized against influenza, pertussis and measles. Currently, there are no immunization requirements for day care workers. The bill allows for circumstances under which a person would be exempt from the immunization requirement based on medical safety, current immunity or declining the influenza vaccination.
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