A study of California’s Bay area and Sonoma County suggests that the most under-vaccinated children in California are the very poor–and the very smart.
In the midst of a growing measles outbreak, under-vaccination in both poor and graduate-level-educated populations are being focused on as potential high-risk populations for outbreaks of the illness.
The measles outbreak arose in mid-December at California’s Disneyland theme park. 51 cases have been documented since, spreading beyond those that have visited the Magic Kingdom.
In Orange County, parents were issued a letter of warning that students may be restricted from certain activities if their child has not received a measles vaccination. The Los Angeles Times reported most measles cases occurred among those under-immunized.
Study results released Sunday revealed five pockets of refusal to vaccinate within northern California. The Times summarized results from the study, published in the Pediatrics journal, which tracked regions with the highest rates of under-immunization. Five primaries areas were identified.
Under-immunization regions included “East San Francisco Bay from Richmond to San Leandro; in Sonoma and Napa counties; in an area between Sacramento and Roseville; in northern San Francisco and southern Marin counties; and in Vallejo,” according to the Times.
The same study recorded higher rates of under-immunization among communities with a higher number of residents holding graduate degrees as well as communities comprised of lower-income residents.
The study also noted ease of tracking these statistics as facilitated through electronic medical records. This allowed children’s records to be searched for parents refusing or delaying vaccinations and where they reside.
Southern Californians may be the next to be studied, according to the Times report.
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