Jessica Biel Responds to Anti-Vaxx Outcry: ‘I Support Children Getting Vaccinations’

“I also support families having the right to make educated medical decisions for their children alongside their physicians,” actress and mother says

Last Updated: June 13, 2019 @ 7:30 AM

Jessica Biel issued a lengthy Instagram statement Thursday morning stressing that she does not oppose childhood vaccinations following outcry over her joining Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to lobby against a California state bill on the issue.

“This week I went to Sacramento to talk to legislators in California about a proposed bill. I am not against vaccinations — I support children getting vaccinations and I also support families having the right to make educated medical decisions for their children alongside their physicians,” Biel said.

The bill, SB 276, which is currently under review, seeks to limit medical exemptions from vaccinations. According to CNN, it has been opposed by anti-vaccine advocates as it effectively makes it harder for parents in the state to find a way around the strict rules that require children to receive vaccines before being enrolled in public or private elementary and secondary schools.

“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,” Biel, who has one son with husband Justin Timberlake, said. “That’s why I spoke to legislators and argued against this bill. Not because I don’t believe in vaccinations, but because I believe in giving doctors and the families they treat the ability to decide what’s best for their patients and the ability to provide that treatment.

“I encourage everyone to read more on this issue and to learn about the intricacies of #SB277. Thank you to everyone who met with me this week to engage in this important discussion!” she added. SB77 was passed in 2015, for more details on that, click here.

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This week I went to Sacramento to talk to legislators in California about a proposed bill. I am not against vaccinations — 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. That’s why I spoke to legislators and argued against this bill. Not because I don’t believe in vaccinations, but because I believe in giving doctors and the families they treat the ability to decide what’s best for their patients and the ability to provide that treatment. I encourage everyone to read more on this issue and to learn about the intricacies of #SB277. Thank you to everyone who met with me this week to engage in this important discussion!

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A representative for Biel did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Biel came under fire on social media Wednesday night after she joined Robert F. Kennedy Jr., known to be an anti-vaccination advocate, for a “busy and productive day at the California State House,” as he described it on Instagram. However, many Twitter users believed they are promoting a bill that would put children’s health at risk.

For clarity – @JessicaBiel is being criticized for lobbying against life-saving #vaccine laws, not her ‘beliefs,'” Dr. David Robert Grimes, tweeted. “This isn’t a matter of opinion, her actions undermine public health. She’s using her status to promote debunked conspiracy theories. That deserves harsh criticism.”

“It’s shocking when a celebrity we admire supports a dangerous idea. But that’s why we don’t take health advice from movie stars,” Eugene Eu, MD, wrote. “Jessica Biel is absolutely wrong about vaccines. Virtually all doctors and the entire medical community agree that vaccines are safe and save lives.”

Others took a more flippant approach, with one use writing: “A Minnesota native who once dated the Human Torch. Now she is married to the man bringing sexy back. But now she wants to bring the measles and smallpox back.”

“Wish I could’ve gotten vaccinated for the disease that is Jessica Biel‘s film career,” quipped TV writer Ryan O’Connell.

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Please say thank you to the courageous @jessicabiel for a busy and productive day at the California State House.

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