Two Malibu area private schools were ranked among the 2018-19 top 10 list of schools with the lowest vaccination rates in the state.
According to data compiled by the California Department of Public Health Immunization Branch’s Shots for Schools, Muse School on Las Virgenes Canyon Road has a 50 percent vaccination rate while the Westside Waldorf School in the Pacific Palisades has a 37 percent rate.
Even Malibu’s public schools are low: Point Dume Elementary School had a 75 percent vaccination rate and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School reported an 82 percent rate, meaning both schools are vulnerable to outbreaks of diseases that vaccines could prevent, according to medical professionals. Schools with a kindergarten enrollment of less than 20 are not reported. For figures on other schools, visit shotsforschool.org/k-12/how-doing/.
All of the above figures are for kindergartners who are fully vaccinated, and have received all required vaccines: measles, chicken pox, polio, diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis and hepatitis B.
Scientists say that the safest school environment is one where 95-100 percent of students are fully vaccinated.
A vaccination rate of 90-94.9 percent is rated “moderately vulnerable,” 80-89.9 percent is “more vulnerable” and fewer than 80 percent of students fully vaccinated is “most vulnerable.”
According to a recent article in the LA Times, “California already has one of the strictest vaccination laws in the country, which prevents children from skipping their shots unless a doctor exempts them for a medical reason. Some health advocates fear that parents are obtaining exemptions for their children without valid medical reasons … and are now pushing lawmakers to clamp down on fraudulent exemptions.”
In the school year that ended last month, the LA Times reported 4,812 kindergartners obtained medical exemptions from vaccines, a 70 percent increase from two years ago, when the vaccination law first took effect, according to data from the CDPH.
The data suggest that the largest concentrations of medical exemptions are being granted in relatively affluent parts of the state.
The overall kindergarten vaccination rate in California keeps dropping—from 95.6 percent in 2016-17 to 94.8 percent in 2018-19.