In the last few years California has gained ground in its fight to protect children from infectious diseases. But new data released this week shows that the state’s vaccination rate declined for the second year in a row. Last fall 94.8 percent of California kindergartners had received all their shots, down from 95.6 in 2016-2017. That drop may look small, but California has about as many kindergartners as Wyoming has people. The most recent figures show that California now falls below the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended vaccination rate of 95 percent, considered necessary to protect a community from disease outbreaks through herd immunity. Those numbers also obscure big differences in vaccination rates from one zip code to another, spanning from as low as 19 percent in one community in northern Los Angeles County to as high as 99 percent in Watsonville, California. Four years ago, following a measles outbreak in Southern California that began at Disneyland, California passed SB277, a law that eliminated parents’ ability to opt out of mandated vaccinations for their kids based on personal beliefs. At first, the law seemed to be working. When it was passed, 2.4 percent of kindergartners in California weren’t… Read full this story
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