Health Highlights: June 26, 2015

Health Highlights: June 26, 2015

Health Highlights: June 26, 2015

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

California Passes Tough Vaccination Bill

The California Assembly on Thursday passed a bill that toughens its current vaccinations law.

The legislation was largely a response to a measles outbreak that began last December at a Disney Park and sickened more than 100 state residents before ending earlier this year, the Washington Post reported.

The bill eliminates the state's personal belief exemption, which allows parents to opt their children out of vaccinations for religious reasons. If passed, the bill would only allow children with serious health problems to skip mandatory vaccination schedules, the Post reported. Those who do not get vaccinated will have to be homeschooled.

All that is needed now is the signature of California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), but the Los Angeles Times has reported that it is not known whether Brown will sign the bill into law.

Although scientific research has shown childhood vaccines to be safe, vaccine skepticism runs high in some California communities, the Post reported.

Hundreds of parents protested at the California Assembly this week, saying the legislation would take away their right to make health care decisions for their children.


FDA Panel to Discuss Safety of Contraceptive Device Essure

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced that it would hold a public meeting to discuss the safety of the contraceptive device Essure.

Essure -- a small metal coil placed via catheter into the fallopian tubes -- is the only permanent birth control device approved for use in the United States. The device received approval in 2002, but over the years the FDA has been alerted to thousands of complaints from women who use the device.

Those complaints include abdominal pain, menstrual irregularities, headache, fatigue and weight fluctuations.

Complaints have also been received regarding "migration," breakage or malposition of the Essure device, the FDA said in a statement published on its website.

There have also been a small number of deaths of women potentially linked to Essure, the agency said, and five reports of fetal death after women became pregnant while using the contraceptive device.

The FDA has completed two studies reviewing "postmarket surveillance data," and now plans a public meeting of its Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Panel on Sept. 24 to discuss the findings and help decide on "next steps" with regard to the device.
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