Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
By: Lambert, Diana
The number of Sacramento-area children starting kindergarten without vaccines rose 30 percent, or by 350 children, in the last school year, according to the California Department of Public Health. Almost one in 20 kindergartners in the region had personal belief exemptions during the 2012-2013 school year, compared to one in 35 kindergartners statewide. Sacramento County had the highest percentage of personal belief exemptions among kindergartners of California’s 15 largest counties. Schools in Yolo, Sacramento, Placer and El Dorado counties with the highest number of unvaccinated kindergartners were certain private schools, charter schools, and schools with large numbers of new immigrants. Next year, a new state law will require parents filing personal belief exemptions to submit a document signed by an approved medical practitioner acknowledging that they have been told about the benefits and drawbacks of vaccines.