SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Only 92.5 percent of San Diego County’s kindergartners were up to date on all of their vaccinations during the 2018-2019 school year, below the recommended rate.
It was a slight .7 decrease from the previous year’s 93.2 percent, according to a report released by the California Department of Public Health.
California as a whole also slightly fell below the 95 percent vaccination rate recommended by health experts.
“We know that there are individuals that don’t believe in vaccinations and people that homeschool their kids, that’s a population,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten with the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.
Wooten says the drop shouldn’t cause panic, but should make families more aware of the importance of vaccinating their children. She said the county is doing its part by responding in three different ways: policies, practices and programs. That includes legislation like the state ban on personal belief exemptions and also CDC recommendations.
Wooten says the most important thing is to make sure all parents are aware of the age appropriate vaccines that not only their children, but all family members should have. Wooten says education is key to avoid the risk of contracting and spreading serious illnesses, like the highly contagious measles outbreak across the United States.
She said the county has been doing community outreach about the importance of being vaccinated, especially as more people travel overseas during the summer months.
“If an individual with measles is put into a room with ten other individuals, 9 out of 10 individuals will contract the illness, it is that contagious,” said Wooten. “It’s very important that all individuals, children, adults, as well as our seniors get the age appropriate vaccinations.”