The state Senate on Thursday passed a controversial bill that would require many more California children to be vaccinated.

The measure, which must still go through the Assembly, would eliminate parents’ ability to opt out of state immunization requirements on the basis of their personal beliefs.

It would excuse children from vaccinations only because of medical problems, such as a weakened immune system, if verified by a physician.

The legislation “is about increasing immunization rates so no one will have to suffer from vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Sen. Benjamin Allen (D-Santa Monica), who co-authored it with Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento).

If the bill becomes law, California would join 32 other states in eliminating a personal-belief exemption from vaccine requirements.

Pan said more parents are refusing to immunize their children, putting others with low immune systems at risk.

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