Starting School with "Ouch!"

by Jeff Camp | August 1, 2016 | 2 Comments
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New Vaccination Laws

Vaccinations are one of the most important ways to protect children from serious preventable diseases, like whooping cough, chicken pox, measles, mumps and rubella. An outbreak of measles in 2015 prompted the California legislature to take action on falling vaccination rates, which in some schools had dropped to unsafe levels. Communities where schools have low vaccination rates are at increased risk of sparking outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. That is why California now requires children to be immunized to enroll in school.

Percentage of Fully Vaccinated Kindergarten Students, by School Type and School Year, 2009-10 to 2015-16 Percentage of Fully Vaccinated Kindergarten Students, by
School Type and School Year, 2009-10 to 2015-16. Source: California Department of Public Health

How is your school doing?

Vaccination rates have varied by school, producing localized areas of risk. The California Department of Public Health Schools has rated schools and child-care facilities by the proportion of students that have received all required vaccines. The higher the "up-to-date" percentage at a school the lower the risk.

Rates-of-immunization

How is your school is doing at getting up-to-date? Have a look at this map to check your school and others nearby.

New California Law

No more "personal belief" exemptions

Before 2016, California allowed families to cite personal beliefs to opt out of vaccinations. That has changed. Starting in 2016, parents or guardians of students in any school or child-care facility, whether public or private, will no longer be allowed to submit a personal beliefs exemption to a currently-required vaccine. Children are exempt from immunization requirements only if a parent or guardian submits a written statement from a licensed physician meeting specific requirements.

There are exemptions for a home-based private school or an independent study program with no classroom-based instruction. The California Department of Health provides a web site aptly titled Shots for School that lets you check immunization requirements. (You can also find answers to Frequently Asked Questions.)

Looking for more information on Health and Schools? Check out:

How is your school doing at keeping kids healthy? Has your community done something great to boost immunization rates? We'd like to hear about it! Add your comment, or send us a note!

Thanks, Carol@ed100.org

Questions & Comments

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user avatar
Carol Kocivar July 23, 2017 at 12:06 pm
You can check this resource from Edsource to find vaccination rates by school in California. Look here.
here.
user avatar
Jeff Camp - Founder September 1, 2016 at 11:19 am
As usual, there are details to consider. Certain vaccinations have to be spaced apart. Verification of vaccination only takes place during enrollment for certain grades. EdSource includes more detail about the transitional rules in this useful post, which was written in 2015 but updated in 2016 after the proverbial dust had settled: https://edsource.org/2015/what-schools-and-parents-need-to-know-about-the-new-vaccination-law/82242?utm_source=Ed100
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