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.”