It took the biggest outbreak in years of a disease that once was nearly eradicated in the United States to put a bill through the California Legislature requiring children to be vaccinated for measles and other preventable diseases before starting school. The resistance continued despite the law, despite 159 cases of measles tracked to Disneyland, despite a thorough debunking of a still stubborn myth that vaccines can cause autism.
Vaccination rates have shot up, and cases of measles and other contagious diseases have declined sharply since the law took effect in 2016. There’s still too much abuse of what was supposed to be a narrow exception to the law to allow physicians to exempt children for medical reasons.
But the state recently put a Southern California doctor on probation for granting an exemption without first gathering medical information and, this week, a court rejected a legal challenge to the law, saying mandatory vaccinations don’t violate freedom of religion or the right to an education. The state 2nd District Court of Appeal called vaccinations “the gold standard for preventing the spread of contagious diseases.” Thumbs up to that.