Growing number of Calif. kids not vaccinated


By Phillip Reese, Sacramento Bee

More than 16,000 California children entered kindergarten this school year without vaccinations because of their parents’ personal beliefs, up 15 percent from the prior year and more than double the number from six years ago, according to figures from the California Department of Public Health.

The numbers were released as California battles an outbreak of measles – a disease mostly eradicated in California following decades of mass vaccination – involving almost 50 people. Medical experts say waning vaccination rates are one cause of the outbreak.

Many of those personally opposed to vaccinations contend they do more harm than good. The Canary Party, a prominent group that advocates letting parents choose whether to vaccinate their children, states on its website that “dozens of published research papers show that YES, vaccines and autism are linked.”

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Comments (11)
  1. Hikerchick says - Posted: April 1, 2014

    If you visit pbsfrontline on your computer you can scroll down to the investigative story on vaccinations they did a couple of years ago. The reporters did extensive interviews with parents who vaccinate and those who don’t. Medical experts weighed in on the issue.
    Don’t make this important–perhaps crucial–decision without viewing this investigative report.

  2. Dogula says - Posted: April 1, 2014

    And when their children start dying from contagious diseases that were nearly wiped out by the 1970’s, who will they sue?
    Vaccines do not cause autism.

  3. rock4tahoe says - Posted: April 1, 2014

    Dog. For once I concur with you, just tone down your bed-side manner a bit. Everyone would hope that children dying is NOT the end result of this.

    People have long term memory loss on this issue. The diseases that have been eradicated and controlled for so long don’t “seem” to pose the threat they once did. Perhaps a refresher course on Measles, Polio, Tetanus etc is called for.

  4. Dogula says - Posted: April 1, 2014

    Here’s some interesting stuff about a new autism study.
    People HAVE forgotten the horrors of the polio epidemics and the others. It’s more than a generation removed that such things were happening. And children DID die of measles, women lost babies in utero to rubella, and mumps can cause deafness and even infertility in males.
    Why would you take those chances? As fewer people vaccinate their kids, the ‘herd’ protection disappears.
    It’s SO not worth the risk. Vaccinate your children. Protect them.

  5. copper says - Posted: April 1, 2014

    As I wobble through what is almost certainly the fourth quarter of my life, the scariest and most discouraging harbinger of the future is the utter disdain folks have for science, replacing it with myths, faith and just plain harebrained notions.

    Of all of the disciplines, science is the only one that is rooted in self-questioning. The scientific method demands that every discovery be constantly questioned, not out of skepticism, but as a means of enhancing, illuminating and perfecting the truth. Scientific theories are not notions picked out of the air; they’re demonstrated principles that fine tune themselves by inviting scientists to challenge them.

    Yet we have folks without an ounce of mental sophistication challenging such bedrock theories as evolution, global climate change, and, apropos to this thread, medical breakthroughs like vaccination. Anyone who has hopes for the future of civilization has to hope that the population of the United States moves back toward some sort of scientific sophistication, through either education or immigration, before we are overwhelmed by world cultures with more dedication to the sciences, but less appreciation of the importance of personal independence.

    For the even less sophisticated, keep in mind that gravity is also a scientific theory. But I don’t see anyone hangin’ on in fear.

  6. Better off says - Posted: April 2, 2014

    Population control via dumb parents. Thanks for weeding them out for us.

  7. Hikerchick says - Posted: April 2, 2014

    The Frontline piece shows a baby on the verge of dying because of Pertussis (Whooping cough). The narrating doctor explains that today’s parents do not have experience with the horrors of some diseases we vaccinate for so take it lightly. Measles and Pertussis are both making a comeback.

  8. mrs.t says - Posted: April 2, 2014

    The problem is that when a certain number of parents don’t vaccinate their kids ‘herd immunity” is lost and the vulnerable (babies prior to vaccination; immunocompromised adults, like from cancer or HIV or autoimmune diseases or transplant recipients; or those who did not develop full immunity from vaccines they received as kids)develop the disease.
    If you choose not to vaccinate your kids, do us a favor and 1) homeschool them, 2) keep them out of sports and other group activities, and 3) consider living on a commune in the wilderness so you don’t hurt the rest of us!

  9. Janice Eastburn says - Posted: April 2, 2014

    I work with families whose children have autism. This includes families who have chosen to not vaccinate and their child still has autism. Autism is a complex neurological disorder whose cause continues to elude the medical community. Autism does not kill. Measles, mumps, and whooping cough can, and do kill, children and adults. It saddens me to see these preventable, diseases on the rise, in part due to the prevalence of misinformation available through the internet and tv. I encourage parents who want to know more about autism to seek out reliable sources such as or have a frank discussion with your pediatrician.

  10. Lisa says - Posted: April 2, 2014

    Copper, I am right there with you. The embracing of ignorance that we are seeing right now just plain scares me for my daughter’s future. The scariest part of it is that this change occurred in just 1-2 decades. Is is amazing what a few people sewing misinformation for their own benefit can quickly do to a society.

  11. Hikerchick says - Posted: April 2, 2014

    Recent scientific research has pinpointed the region of the brain affected by autism. It is thought, according to the news piece I heard, that changes in the 19th to 30th week of pregnancy cause autism. This would preclude vaccinations having anything to do with the disorder. There are enough wild cards out there in life that we can do nothing about but we can stop the spread of things like pertussis and measles by vaccinating.