More school kids unvaccinated

Rising number of California parents are opting not to vaccinate children

Parents of kindergarteners in California are increasingly opting to not vaccinate their children.

Data from the state Department of Public Health show that the number of students in California who have not received vaccinations due to their parents’ religious beliefs or medical concerns has increased 15 percent over last year, according to The Sacramento Bee. This year, about 16,000 children in California entered primary school without vaccinations, a rate that has doubled over the last six years. Some health experts believe the trend has contributed to California’s measles outbreak; 56 cases of measles were reported as of April 15, compared with just four cases at the same time last year.

A new state law went into effect this year that requires parents to visit a licensed health care practitioner who has explained the potential benefits and risks of immunization prior to opting out of vaccination.