Wednesday, June 24, 2015


By Jessica Calefati, San Jose Mercury News |

6/24/2015 12:42:21 PM PDT  ::  SACRAMENTO -- Carl Krawitt has a message for opponents of a deeply divisive bill that would mandate vaccinations for all school children, regardless of their parents' personal or religious beliefs.

"Get a real problem," said Krawitt, the father of a 7-year-old Leukemia survivor from Corte Madera who couldn't be fully vaccinated until he completed chemotherapy and beat cancer.

"I know what fear is because I was in the hospital with a kid whose odds of survival were pretty low," Krawitt said Wednesday at a Sacramento news conference. "But what scared me more than the threat of disease was the misinformation (about vaccines)."

Krawitt visited the Capitol with his son Rhett to give Gov. Jerry Brown a copy of a petition signed by 32,000 supporters of SB 277, which will face another tough vote Thursday on the state Assembly floor. Vaccines California

Hundreds of parents who oppose the legislation because they think at least some vaccines are unsafe for some children have flooded Sacramento in recent weeks to testify at each public hearing where the measure was considered.

Some people who oppose the bill say they will move out of state if it's passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, who supports vaccination but has not yet taken a position on SB 277. Others hope to recall the bill's authors from office.

Speaking at the news conference, Rhett Krawitt said simply that "vaccines save lives," and he thanked Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, for supporting the legislation. Parts of Levine's district have some of the state's lowest vaccination rates.

"The personal story of the Krawitt family reminds the Legislature and the governor that legislation like this has a direct effect on the public health of California families," Levine said.

In fact, Rhett is so fascinated by public health that he said wants to become an epidemiologist and study infectious diseases when he grows up.

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