Jessica Biel has come out against a controversial vaccination bill in California, sparking a social media frenzy, but the actress says that she isn’t an ‘anti-vaxxer.”
The Daily Beast reported Wednesday that Biel was “coming out as an anti-vaxxer” after she appeared at the California State Assembly on Tuesday with prominent vaccine skeptic Robert F Kennedy Jr to lobby against state bill SB 276 that seeks to limit medical exemptions from vaccinations without state public health approval.
The actress later took to Instagram to explain. “I support children getting vaccinations and I also support families having the right to make educated medical decisions for their children alongside their physicians,’” she said, adding that her concern with the bill was “solely regarding medical exemptions.”
Biel said her friends have a child with a medical condition that makes it exempt from vaccinations and she is concerned the bill would affect the family’s ability to care for their child. However, according to a legislative staffer interviewed by Jezebel, Biel’s comments at the assembly echoed some anti-vaccination talking points, and she said her friend’s child had a reaction to vaccinations. Biel reportedly said that she refused to put her child on her doctor’s recommended vaccination schedule and said she “wants safe vaccines and mentioned ‘corporations’ a lot,” the staffer said.
Social media users were divided over Biel’s stance on the controversial issue, with many people labelling the actress an anti-vaxxer and saying that she is not qualified to speak on the matter.
“The problem with Jessica Biel coming out as an anti-vaxxer is not that she’s not a doctor, it’s that she’s not even qualified to play a doctor on TV,” journalist Lauren Duca wrote.
Many came out in support of Biel, hitting back at the backlash she is facing. “Jessica Biel is getting bashed, hated and ‘cancelled’ because she doesn’t believe in vaccinations,” Joe Rivera wrote. “This toxic outrage behavior shouldn’t be acceptable. It’s disgusting. It’s okay to have different beliefs,” he added.