This map, interactive at the site, shows the vaccination rates for schools in Los Angeles. Thirteen schools in Los Angeles have opt out rates of 50% or more. That means more than half the children who attend are not following the prescribed schedule of immunization against measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, diphtheria, or pertussis (whooping cough). Many more schools have opt out rates just under 50%. That means that there is insufficient herd immunity at these schools, and children can contract these diseases and transmit them to babies and those with compromised immune systems -the people most likely to die from them. Children who have been vaccinated are also at risk, because some vaccines take years to gain peak immunity, and even then it’s not 100%. Being vaccinated will reduce the risk, however, and the best way to reduce the risk of disease is to vaccinate as many children as possible to reach herd immunity -the point where diseases hit roadblocks in contagion.
Keep in mind that the statistics on the map are for the percentage of parents who filed a “PBE,” or Personal Belief Exemption for immunizations. In many cases, that doesn’t mean the child is completely unvaccinated, but instead means that certain vaccines are skipped or delayed from the standard immunization schedule. But the current outbreak of pertussis is real. So far this year, almost 8,000 of cases of pertussis have been reported in the Los Angeles area, 267 people have been hospitalized, and three babies have died of the disease. The rate of measles is higher than it’s been for 20 years. The Hollywood Reporter has an extensive article about vaccinations and the parents who opt out. -via Metafilter
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