SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-YUBA CITY) issued the following statement in reaction to the announcement of new legislation that would remove the personal belief exemption for the COVID vaccine currently available for California school children:

“Now it is clear. The government doesn’t want your family to have a choice. Government is in control. Either get vaccinated or get kicked out of school.

I am absolutely going to oppose this bill. This is wrong and an unconscionable overreach into the family over a virus that poses very minimal threat to young children. The decision to vaccinate a child should be for the child and their parents to make alone.

Anyone who tells you this requirement aligns with historical vaccine protocols is lying to you. The current required vaccinations have been in use with full FDA approval for decades. The COVID vaccine has not.

Anyone who tells you that this requirement will ‘stop the spread’ or ‘keep schools open’ is lying to you. California has one of the highest COVID vaccination rates in the country and yet the virus is still spreading.

Rural schools will ultimately be the hardest hit by this new mandate. Enrollment will drastically decline, school district budgets will crumble, and the learning and social losses will be massive. We cannot let this happen. 

I will do everything I can to stop this bill, but I cannot do it alone. Parents, students, teachers, school board members and others must mobilize to stop this legislation. Your phone calls, emails and voice in Sacramento will decide whether or not this becomes law.”