Is Marin County, California, with one of the highest median household incomes in the nation at $90,535, out to show the world that income has no bearing on intelligence?
Where vaccinating children against childhood diseases is concerned, that seems to be the case. Affluent Marin County, with many of the most expensive and exclusive schools in the country, has the highest rate of clustered, non-vaccinated school age children in all of California. Not proudly, California leads the nation in unvaccinated kids, with eight percent of all Kindergartners, or some 41,000 children not being vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella last year. Compare that to the leading state in the nation for vaccination, Mississippi, with a 99.7% compliance rate—where personal and religious belief exemptions are NOT permitted– and only 140 children in the entire state entered school last year without their required shots.
Think about that, the next time you dump on “dumb”, poor Southerners. Mississippi’s median income, the lowest in the nation, is $35,693, or a bit more than one-third that of chic Marin’s. Mississippi requires immunization against all childhood diseases for entering all schools, Head Start or Day Care. No vaccine; no school. Simple.
California’s Department of Health, on the other hand, appears to be smoking too much weed. In its latest report (January 30, 2015) on “Vaccine Opt-Out Rates” it hails the fact that “Opt-Out Rates Drops, First Time Since 1998”. Yet the decline is less than one-half of one percent and over 500 schools across the State—many in the Bay Area—have “Opt-Out” rates of over 10%, despite DOH’s admission that:
“Vaccine rates need to be 90 percent — or higher — depending on the disease to create what’s known as herd immunity. That means that enough people are vaccinated to protect those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or whose immune system is compromised. This includes people being treated for cancer or HIV patients and more. When vaccine rates are high, a disease introduced into a community cannot take hold.”
So what’s to brag about here, DOH? California is leading the nation in reported cases of Measles right now with 91, and the U.S. is far out-pacing the rest of the world in 2015, reporting 490 Measles cases to 32 in Asia and 2, (yes, only 2) in Africa. The rest of the world would be wise to keep Americans out of their countries, unless we can show proof of vaccination, especially since Measles is more contagious than Ebola. No immigration without vaccination goes for us, too. In 1989-91, when 17,000 cases of Measles were reported during the last Measles Epidemic, 70 people died in California. This is not a parlor game of libertarian rights. Humans are dying.
The California Department of Health statistics for the past 7 years reveal that a number of Marin County schools (Greenwood School, Mill Valley; San Geronimo Valley Elementary School, and the New Village School, in Sausalito ), and several in San Francisco, and Sonoma County, allow from 50 to 75 percent of their students to attend school unvaccinated, putting all their classmates—and everyone in the region– at risk of contracting Measles, Whooping Cough, or whatever disease is the latest rage. The worst offender on California’s DOH list of over 7,000 public and private elementary schools is the Grace Christian School in Carmichael, CA (Sacramento County), where 93% of the students’ parents have invoked a specious, and dangerous, “personal belief exemption (PBE),” to prevent their child from being vaccinated.
Before you get too cocky about Carmichael being a “religious school” in “rural” Sacramento County, not the sophisticated urban/suburban Bay Area, Public Enemy # 2 on the DOH’s Dumbest list is the Berkeley Rose School, in sophisticated, smart, agnostic Berkeley, where 87% of its students are unvaccinated. Other eye-openers on the DOH’s Dumbest list were many Waldorf Schools stretching from San Diego all the way up to the Santa Rosa, to the Waldorf’s flagship Summerfield School and Farm, where 42% of the students are unvaccinated. Astounding. So smart; so stupid.
Under California State law, children entering kindergarten are required to be vaccinated against: Polio; Diptheria, Tetanus & Pertussis (DTaP); Measle, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), Hepatitis B, and Chickenpox (Varicella)—UNLESS their brilliant parents “opt-out” of the vaccines, under the State’s “Personal or Religious Belief Exemption (PBE).” Marin County has headed the pack of anti-vaxxers for years, asserting their stupidity with the State’s highest PBE rates, in the face of overwhelming medical evidence that vaccines prevent disease.
Marin County as Moron County when it comes to vaccines? It sure looks like while Marin residents may have left their hearts in San Francisco, their brains are buried somewhere deep under the Bay.