New 'Mandatory' Vaccine Law Is Perfect Compromise for Parents

As a mom, I tend to have some pretty mixed feelings about required vaccinations for our kids. I'm personally all for it, and do believe that every kid who can medically be vaccinated should be vaccinated. However, I loathe the idea of the government telling me what to do with my kids.

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As a Californian, I was stunned to learn that the state legislature passed a bill on Thursday that would require all kids to be vaccinated -- until I read more about it. All in all, I think it's a pretty dang good comprise between parental rights and the "greater good" of herd immunity.

There's no guarantee that Governor Jerry Brown will sign the bill into law, but it's expected that he will, making it one of the toughest vaccination laws in the country. Essentially, it would require all medically able school-aged children to be immunized, regardless of their parents' personal or religious beliefs.

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Normally something like this would have the hairs on the back of my neck standing up -- again, not because I'm against vaccines, just because I want to raise my kids how I want -- but once I read a little more about it, I think it's a great compromise.

Because here's the deal -- only kids attending public school will be required to have their vaccinations up-to-date. Parents who feel strongly about the issue are still totally free to homeschool, or send their kids to private schools that don't require immunizations.

In California, the state spends about $10,000 per student, per year, to educate them. It varies state-to-state, but we all pay into the system that provides an education for our future (hopefully productive) members of society. Vaccinations provide the overall healthiest environment for our children.

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It's a good compromise in my mind, as vaccinating your children is a small price to pay for the state-provided education. If the state is going to provide the schooling, why shouldn't they should be allowed to require that children attending be immunized if they're physically able?

Don't worry yet, California moms of unimmunized children ... if this gets signed into law, only incoming kindergartners and seventh graders will be required to show proof of immunization, but all other kids will be grandfathered in.

And I'm totally OK with that.

Do you think vaccinations should be required to attend public school?

 

Image via © Andrew Brookes/Corbis

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