More California families are choosing not to have their kids vaccinated, a trend that is worrying public health officials, according to a Los Angeles Times report this weekend:
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.
But with autism rates rising, some parents find that fear more worrisome than the chance that their child could contract diseases that, while now very rare in this country, can still be deadly.
The Times reported that just 2 percent of kindergartners aren’t vaccinated, but that they tend to be concentrated in certain schools — often private schools and public charter schools in more affluent areas.
Is this an issue at your school? Where do you stand?