SACRAMENTO, CA - In a last ditch effort to sway Gov. Jerry Brown, concerned parents rallied at the Capitol Friday urging him to veto a bill, requiring parents to get a medical professional's signature on a form in order to opt out of getting their children vaccinated.
Mothers told stories of how their kids suffered major health problems after getting vaccinated.
"Sorry, this bill takes away our right to choose what we deem is best for our children," Mom Michelle Gutierrez said. "I didn't know then what had been to my child."
The group enlisted the help of actor/comedian Rob Schneider, a Democrat, who joins Republican lawmakers in opposing the bill.
"The state has no authority to restrict or eliminate a parent's right to exempt their child from one or more vaccines or from any medical procedure," Schneider said. "This bill oversteps the authority of the state."
Dr. Dean Blumberg, one of the country's leading experts in pediatric infections, said it's tough to compete with a celebrity with a message. But the reality is vaccines are effective, and too many children are not getting them because it's too easy for parents in California to fill out the Personal Belief Exemption forms, Blumberg said.
"We're immunizing, and now we can prevent those deaths," Blumberg said. "So, I think there's a lot of misinformation out there."
Blumberg also points out people can still opt out of getting their kids vaccinated, the proposal only requires parents to be counseled on the benefits of shots.
"Right now, the parents sign a form on their own," Blumberg said. "What this bill aims to do is the parents sign the form and their healthcare provider signs the form also."
By Nannette Miranda, ABC7