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Residents are getting their first chance to weigh in on changes to a California measure that would give state public health officials oversight of doctors who grant a high number of medical exemptions for vaccinations and schools with vaccination rates less than 95%.
The Assembly Health Committee's hearing is expected to draw hundreds of people against vaccines to the Capitol, as have prior hearings on the topic. Critics shouted "we will not comply" inside the Senate chambers last month as lawmakers voted on the measure.
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They will likely be countered once again by dozens of white-coated medical professionals and students voicing support for the bill.
The hearing comes just days after Sen. Richard Pan, the bill's author, announced major changes to the legislation designed to win support from Gov. Gavin Newsom. The Democratic governor had expressed concern with requiring state health officials to sign off on every exemption, as the bill had initially required.
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Now, the public health department will only scrutinize doctors who grant more than five medical exemptions in a year and schools with vaccination rates of less than 95%, the threshold that officials say is needed to provide "community immunity" and prevent the spread of measles cases, which reached a 25-year high in the U.S. earlier this year. Newsom said he will sign the revised version if it reaches his desk.
The California bill is aimed at stopping some doctors from selling immunization exemptions, which supporters of the bill said has become a growing problem since the...
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