Chill, We've Been Here Before

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Cartoon: a retro-looking poster with smiling school kids that reads, "California, requiring vaccines to attend school, since 1962."

Oakland Unified on Wednesday became the first school district in Northern California to require a COVID-19 vaccine for students 12 and up.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly left open the possibility that a statewide mandate may be on the way.

In the early 1960s, legislators enacted a law that required a polio vaccine to attend school in the state. They did so only after a  campaign to incentivize students to voluntarily get the shot fell short.

Sound familiar?

Cartoon: an old-timey looking poster with smiling school kids that reads, "California, requiring vaccines to attend school since 1889."

Upon further research, I found that the very first California law that required a vaccine to attend school was way back in 1889!

People battled over these early vaccine mandates in the courts for years, it wasn't until the 1960s and the polio vaccine that the state mandates really took hold.

I guess that goes to show you just how effective vaccine mandates are that I forgot about a once prevalent horrible disease called smallpox.

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