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California May Toughen Immunization Rules To Block Measles

SACAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California may give state public health officials instead of local doctors the power to decide which children shouldn’t be vaccinated before attending school. The legislation announced Tuesday would also let state and county health officials revoke medical exemptions granted by doctors if they are found to be fraudulent or contradict federal immunization standards. They say the legislation is needed to crack down on a few unscrupulous doctors who are helping parents avoid vaccinating their children. The proposal comes amid measles outbreaks in the North State, including several cases in Shasta, Butte, and Tehama Counties. There have also been confirmed cases in New York and Washington. Several upset parents say the measure isn’t needed because California’s immunization rate already is high. California eliminated non-medical immunization exemptions in 2016. The lawmakers want California to now follow West Virginia’s lead in having public health officials decide who qualifies for medical exemptions.