Many states — including California — allow parents to opt-out of vaccines for their children simply by declaring their personal opposition. USA Today compares what’s happening in several states this year on the vaccine front. In California, Assemblyman Richard Pan of Sacramento, introduced a bill which would require parents to meet with a health care provider before opting out of vaccines.  The full Senate is expected to vote on the bill this week.

The move comes as health officials across the USA grapple with the resurgence of once-forgotten infectious diseases, including what could be the biggest epidemic of whooping cough in 50 years. Although all states require children be vaccinated before attending school, each has different policies about exemptions, with some granting waivers only for medical reasons, while others allow kids to opt out based on religious or personal beliefs.

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Lisa Aliferis

Lisa Aliferis is the founding editor of KQED's State of Health blog. Since 2011, she's been writing stories and editing them for the site. Before taking up blogging, she toiled for many years producing health stories for television, including Dateline NBC and San Francisco's CBS affiliate, KPIX-TV. She also wrote up a handy guide to the Affordable Care Act, especially for Californians. You can follow her on Twitter: @laliferis

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