Illustration for article titled It Only Took a Horrible Measles Outbreak to Get California Parents to Vaccinate Their Kids Again

In California, a hotbed for wild-eyed anti-vaccination propaganda, the tide is shifting and childhood vaccinations are, thankfully, on the rise.


Via NPR: The California Department of Public Health reported that for the 2015-2016 school year, nearly 93 percent of kindergartners had had their shots. Congrats, Golden State! This number is a 2.5 percent increase from the 2014-2015 school year, which included last January’s measles outbreak that was tied to Disneyland and spread nationwide.

Last February, state legislators brought forth a bill eliminating the personal belief exemption, which allows an alarming number of California parents to opt out of vaccines. The elimination became law, and will take effect in July. But the the numbers of parents declining to vaccinate their kids is already down and will hopefully stay that way.

“I can only assume that this is in part a response to ... the measles outbreak and the publicity that that received,” says Dr. Art Reingold, head of epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. “It’s unfortunate that fear or outbreaks of disease are necessary to get people to do what we’d like them to do, but I think that’s human nature.”


Another reason for the uptick in vaccinations are schools curbing “conditional” admissions. Many institutions, which are supposed to turn away students who haven’t been fully vaccinated, were allowing them to attend classes conditionally and trusting parents to fully vaccinate their rugrats later. Last year, California state officials worked with schools to end these kinds of admissions and ensure that the kids have all of their shots.

Contact the author at

Image via Shutterstock.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter