AMA endorses personal belief exemption for vaccines nixed in California

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The AMA's policy-making House of Delegates voted today to endorse the California State Senate's approval of a bill that will remove the personal belief exemption giving parents the choice to withhold vaccinations from their children for non-medical reasons.

"Nationwide, about 1.7 percent of kindergarten age children have religious or philosophical exemptions to mandatory immunization," according to a report from the AMA's council on science and public health and its council on ethical and judicial affairs.

As of February 2015, 15 states have introduced legislation that addresses non-medical exemptions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. California is among 19 states that have personal belief or philosophical exemptions while 48 states allow religious exemptions.

"These exemptions are used for convenience," said James Felsen, M.D. an AMA alternate delegate and public health physician from West Virginia, one of two states that doesn't allow either religious or personal exemptions from vaccination. "It's a no brainer. You're protecting the kid next to you."

More articles about vaccination:

New intervention to combat vaccine hesitancy, found lacking
Disneyland-linked measles outbreak declared over

California vaccine requirement bill gets first public debate

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