SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A year after the end of a long, contentious debate over school vaccinations, school districts say a new law has created a big change.
The law meant to combat recent outbreaks of diseases such as measles that typically are remedied by vaccination got a lot of pushback from groups opposed to vaccinations.
Taryn Whitmore is one of a number of parents on Monday signing up her children for school in the Sacramento City Unified School District. Part of that process requires they be up to date on vaccinations.
“In my family, we definitely believe in immunizing kids,” she said.
Gina Hernandez has also been on board with vaccinations and is glad the requirements are mandatory for all children.
“I just wouldn’t want my child to be affected by a child not being immunized, ” she said.
School district officials say kindergarten immunization rates are at their highest in about a dozen years.
According to the California Department of Public Health, the percentage of kindergarten students who had received all of the required vaccines in the 2016-17 school year rose from 93 percent to 96 percent.
California’s immunization law passed in 2016 removed some religious exemptions and personal belief exemptions.
But those gains haven’t been seen in certain private schools and charter schools, where immunization rates are much lower.
During the debate over the law, many parents threatened to take their children out of the school districts, but district officials say that never manifested.