Los Angeles Times

Here's what happened after California got rid of personal belief exemptions for childhood vaccines

Health authorities in California have more power to insist that a dog is vaccinated against rabies than to ensure that a child enrolled in public school is vaccinated against measles.

That's just one of the frustrations faced by health officials in the first year after California did away with "personal belief exemptions" that allowed parents to send their kids to school unvaccinated, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

In the 2014-15 school year, when parents could still opt out of vaccinations for any reason they chose, only 90.4 percent of kindergarteners in California public schools were fully immunized. That's below the 94 percent threshold needed to establish community immunity for measles, according to experts.

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