SAN RAFAEL (KRON) — More than half of the kids at three Marin County schools are not vaccinated for the measles and other diseases according to data from the State Health Department.
At The Greenwood School in Mill Valley 61% of students have claimed a “Personal Beliefs” exemption. 58% of students have the same exemption at San Geronimo Valley Elementary in the Lagunitas District and exactly half of all students have their measles shots at the New Village School in Sausalito.
“This is a particular concern this year, with 59 cases of measles reported so far statewide,” Marin County Public Health Nurse Danielle Hiser said in a written statement. “We’re lucky that we haven’t had any measles cases in Marin yet because the disease spreads quickly in undervaccinated communities. A recent Disneyland outbreak is an unfortunate reminder of how low vaccination rates are not just a hypothetical threat, but a real one.”
Interactive Map Showing School Immunization Rates in Marin County
Marin officials say the total rates of opt-outs from immunization requirements peaked at 7.8% in 2014 but have come down 20% from that number.
“We found that parents are trying to navigate the best choices for their children and don’t always have access to the facts,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County Public Health Officer. “When parents really understand the risk of disease and the safety of the vaccines that prevent disease, more choose to immunize their children.”
Disneyland, the site of a measles outbreak in December, has already told people without immunizations not to come to the theme park.