Parents protest new California law mandating vaccines for kids

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- Hundreds of parents are protesting a new California state law that took effect Friday requiring vaccines for nearly all schoolchildren.

SB 277 mandates vaccines for 10 different diseases, including polio, measles and chicken pox, for children in public and private schools. It blocks them from attending if their parents refuse. The law provides some exceptions for medical reasons as well as for home-school children, but it eliminated existing exemptions for religious or personal beliefs.

Experts say those who resist are putting their children at risk.

But many parents are concerned that vaccines may cause harm to children. They also argue that the law takes away their right to decide issues relating to their own children's health.

Some opponents have also filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state law.

Hundreds of people were expected to attend a rally followed by a vigil in Santa Monica on Friday.
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