A rising number of California parents are choosing to send their children to kindergarten without routine vaccinations, putting hundreds of elementary schools in the state at risk for outbreaks of childhood diseases eradicated in the U.S. years ago.
Exemptions from vaccines — which allow children to enroll in public and private schools without state-mandated shots — have more than doubled since 1997, according to a Times analysis of state data obtained last week.
The rise in unvaccinated children appears to be driven by affluent parents choosing not to immunize. Many do so because they fear the shots could trigger autism, a concern widely discredited in medical research…
…For generations, most children went unimmunized only if their parents couldn’t afford the shots, a problem now remedied through federal funds. A tiny percentage of children cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
But as parents’ fears about vaccine safety have grown, the demographics of the unvaccinated have shifted substantially. Although fewer than 2% of kindergartners at traditional public schools and Catholic schools in California had exemptions last fall, more than 4% of kindergartners at other private schools and nearly 10% of those enrolling in charter schools were exempted.
Go thee and read the whole article. I promise, it’s worth it.
California’s beautiful and I’m sure it’s an otherwise wonderful place to live, but between the earthquakes and the anti-vaxers, I think I’ll stay put in this war zone of mine 😉 .