LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — California’s school vaccination rate rose in the first year that the state required almost all public schoolchildren to get immunizations.
State public health officials said Wednesday that nearly 96 percent of this year’s kindergartners have received all required vaccines. That’s a nearly 3-point increase over last year and the highest vaccination rate since the current immunization regimen went into force in 2001.
The rate in Los Angeles County was up to 95 percent from 90 percent, and Orange County’s rate inched up from just over 92 percent to more than 95 percent.
The vast majority of counties – 74 percent – reported overall reductions in the number of conditional entrants, those students who cited a temporary medical exemption to opt out of vaccinations.
L.A. County had the second largest reduction in conditional entrants with a drop of 6 percentage points. Orange County, traditionally known for its large anti-mandatory vaccination constituency, dropped by over 4 percent.
California’s vaccine rates have been inching up for the past three years after a state law made it harder for parents to opt out of vaccines due to personal beliefs. The law was further tightened in 2015, when lawmakers outlawed all personal-belief exemptions following a measles outbreak linked to Disneyland.
The law sparked impassioned protest in Sacramento and is being challenged in court.
Click here to read the full report from the California Department of Public Health.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)