Rhett Krawitt, the 6-year-old Marin leukemia patient who became a vaccination poster child during the state measles outbreak that began in Disneyland, is going to Sacramento Wednesday to speak out in favor of SB277.
That bill, which would require all California children to be vaccinated in order to attend school, could come up for a floor vote in the state Assembly this week. SB277 has already passed the Senate.
Currently, parents can opt out of vaccinations through a personal belief exemption.
The debate over the bill has become a major battleground in the ongoing conflict between those who urge everyone to get vaccinated -- a group that includes the scientific and medical community -- and those who think the decision is personal. Many in that category believe vaccines are responsible for the rising autism rate, a proposition that has never been proved in any way, shape or form. As anyone knows who has gone down the rabbit hole of reading user comments on certain vaccine posts, the back-and-forth between the two camps can get mega-vitriolic.
One interested party who's been following the progress of SB277 is Carl Krawitt, Rhett's father. Rhett could not be vaccinated during the measles scare because his immune system was still too weak, and was thus dependent on herd immunity. So his father publicly chastised those who voluntarily forgo vaccines, telling KQED's Lisa Aliferis, “If you choose not to immunize your own child and your own child dies because they get measles, OK, that’s your responsibility, that’s your choice. But if your child gets sick and gets my child sick and my child dies," he said, "then … your action has harmed my child.”