Anti-vaxxers decline slightly

Fewer parents opted out of inoculations for their kindergarteners last year

After a dozen years of more and more parents opting their kindergarten-age children out of immunizations by citing personal beliefs, the number of so-called “anti-vaxxers” in California declined in 2014.

According to the Los Angeles Times, recent campaigns to reverse that trend have worked. Those efforts began amid a resurgence of deadly illnesses, including whooping cough, a major outbreak of which sickened more than 9,000 people in 2010.

Additionally, a new state law that requires parents of kindergarteners to get the signature of their health care provider as proof they discussed the risks of opting out has made it more cumbersome to refuse vaccinations. Waivers for this group went down from 3.1 percent in 2013 to 2.5 percent in 2014.

Still, health experts have their work cut out for them. In 1996, the exemption rate was just .46 percent.