On Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed into law a requirement that nearly all children be vaccinated in order to attend school.
With the stroke of a pen, California went from being a state with relatively lax vaccination rules to one of the most strict in the country — joining Mississippi and West Virginia as states where even exemptions for religious beliefs are not allowed.
As the bill worked its way through the legislative process, it faced strong, consistent, vocal opposition from some parents, including a small group of protesters who stood vigil outside the Capitol in Sacramento for days before it was clear Brown would sign the bill.
The protesters are passionate, inflamed mainly by discredited beliefs that vaccines are linked to autism. But opposition to vaccines is far from new. Continue reading