Actress Jessica Biel is receiving fierce criticism for lobbying against California state bill 276, which, if passed would limit medical exemptions from vaccinations.
The bill has been opposed by anti-vaccine advocates.
Many doctors, lawmakers, and parents voiced their criticism following news of Biel’s involvement.
“This starts to be about privilege,” Democratic State Sen. Richard Pan told The Hollywood Reporter. “The only reason that [individuals like Biel] are able to do this is that they are counting on others to vaccinate their own kids for them. How many people have to be hospitalized before people think, ‘This isn’t right.’ I wish the 1% would stop spreading disease to the 99%.”
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the acting director of the CDC’s Center for Preparedness and Response, retweeted a photo of a child who contracted measles.
The post reads:
“In 1977 there were over 57,000 cases of #measles in the US, and this child was the CDC measles campaign poster child. Measles is still a threat in many parts of the world. ALL travelers should be vaccinated against measles, mumps, & rubella before they leave the U.S.”
Biel in an Instagram post later Thursday said she was not against vaccines.
“I support children getting vaccinations and I also support families having the right to make educated medical decisions for their children alongside their physicians. My concern with #SB277 is solely regarding medical exemptions. My dearest friends have a child with a medical condition that warrants an exemption from vaccinations, and should this bill pass, it would greatly affect their family’s ability to care for their child in this state.”