California's new mandatory vaccination law just went into effect.
Dr. Howard Smart, a pediatrician at Sharp Rees-Stealy, says the new law "should eliminate the frivolous reasons for not getting your children vaccinated.”
The new law, now in full effect, eliminates a parent's right to refuse to vaccinate based on personal or religious beliefs; only those with valid medical conditions are exempt.
Smart, who says he's seen more cases of preventable diseases like whooping cough in the last six years than he's seen in his entire career, told 10News, “The risk of getting a vaccine is much lower than the risk of not getting a vaccine."
Smart notes that in one fell swoop a vaccination protects other children [those immuno-compromised with conditions such as leukemia] from parents and their children--the ones who've chosen not to vaccinate based on thin non-scientific evidence such as a link to autism or other beliefs.
“We had to do spinal taps on every baby with a fever. we don't have to do anymore if they're vaccinated. We're concerned about them having diseases that we shouldn't have to worry about.”
Long before the law was passed, protest erupted in downtown San Diego. Parents like Heather Hawkes say it unfairly limits their choice.
“This legislation is unnecessary, its overreaching, and it takes away human rights," said Hawkes.