Celebrities are powerful in terms of how they can lend their voice to a cause, especially if it’s a pressing matter.
They could greatly affect how people could decide, considering their wide reach, but that doesn’t mean they are immune from criticisms. Take a look at actress Jessica Biel, whose photos with Robert Kennedy Jr. sparked backlash and which has touched on a quite sensitive health matter that up until now is up for debate.
With an Anti-Vaxxer
What’s wrong with a photo of an actress and an activist? Well, both of them were recently in Sacramento, California to rally against the California Senate Bill 276, which aims to limit medical exemptions for vaccination by making policies in securing one more rigid.
On his Instagram post, Robert described Jessica as “courageous” for a busy day at the State House, which might make you wonder if the place is filled with snakes or crocodiles that she had to bravely make her way into.
Finally, Jessica explained what she was doing with anti-vaxxer Robert in Sacramento, narrating she talked with legislators to discuss the SB 276. She further went on to say that she wasn’t against vaccinations, but she was particularly targeting the medical exemptions part of the bill.
The 37-year-old mom of one narrated how she has friends who have a child that has a medical condition that prohibits the kid from getting a vaccination, but that this policy could vastly affect the parents’ capacity to care for their child.
Problem with Medical Exemptions
In her lengthy post, “The A-Team” actress reiterated that she does believe in vaccinations, but more so in providing doctors and parents the opportunity to make decisions of what they think is best for the child. As an end note, Jessica urged her followers to be educated about the SB 276 and expressed gratitude to those she talked with regarding the matter.
The issue with vaccination has been a tough and lingering one, but recently, it became an alarming cause of concern after measles cases skyrocketed to 1,022 in 28 states, the highest figure of reported cases in the United States since 1992, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. It is worth noting that the number was just calculated till half of 2019, which meant it could still increase or decrease.
Vaccination Is a Pre-Requisite
In California and many other parts of the world, vaccinations, which are proven to shield kids from catching measles, tetanus, mumps, hepatitis B, and pertussis, are a pre-requisite for children before entering the school. In 2015, the SB 277 was passed, which prevents parents from declining vaccinations for their children simply because they didn’t want to.
While the law had greatly helped in eliminating personal beliefs as an excuse not to get vaccinations, parents turned to medical exemptions, which is when a doctor sees a real medical condition like weakened immune system or allergic reactions to the vaccines. The rate of medical exemptions multiplied after SB 277, which was why there was a need for SB 276.
In SB 276, medical exemptions would be rigorous to get. Doctors need to fill out their license number, name, certification of examination of the patient, and reason for seeking an exemption, which should all be submitted to the California Department of Public Health, which will then grant or decline the request.