The state of California issued an advisory on
All three were unvaccinated.
Authorities haven't said why these people were never inoculated, but there's no question that the anti-vaccination movement is contributing to new outbreaks of preventable diseases by disseminating unfounded scare stories based on discredited research. Increases in measles and
These outbreaks would be of less concern if they only affected unvaccinated people who had made the decision to take the risk. But that's not the case. Vaccination doesn't immunize every person who gets the shots; some of the recent California cases were among people who had been vaccinated. What's more, some people have medical conditions that preclude being vaccinated. And some babies too young for the vaccine have died after contracting whooping cough. These three groups can be protected only by what doctors call "herd immunity." Widespread vaccination keeps the disease out of the population, protecting everyone in it, including those without immunity.
A new law that took effect this year is aimed at reducing the number of parents who opt out of vaccinating their public school children. But Gov.
Brown signed the legislation, but then ordered regulators to create a religious exemption. Under the weakened rules, parents who claim that their religious beliefs don't allow them to vaccinate their children can simply sign the form. It's far too easy.