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Who is responsible for making sure school children are properly vaccinated?




California law says children must be immunized in order to attend childcare.
California law says children must be immunized in order to attend childcare.
Photo by Sanofi Pasteur via Flickr Creative Commons

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The recent measles outbreak in California has turned a lot of attention toward school children who aren’t vaccinated because of their families’ personal beliefs. But there are also a surprising number of children who enter school under-vaccinated. State law requires that kids be fully-vaccinated before starting Kindergarten, but exceptions can be made. Kids can be enrolled as “conditional entrants,” with the understanding that they will get fully-vaccinated. Families then have 10 days to show proof of immunization or the child must be kept out of class.

But as it turns out, this isn’t enforced. LAUSD’s director of nursing services tells KPCC that no students are barred from entering class and that their department lacks the resources necessary to keep track of which children have been fully-vaccinated and which haven’t. Many of the parents of the children who are under-vaccinated say it’s not that they have personal beliefs that prevent them from vaccinating their child, but rather logistics and life, in general, can get in the way.

Where does responsibility fall in making sure students are fully vaccinated?

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Guests:

Rebecca Plevin, KPCC health reporter

Sen. Richard Pan, pediatrician and California State Senator serving the 6th district, which covers Sacramento, Elk Grove, and West Sacramento

Pamela Kahn, registered nurse, Health and Wellness Coordinator for Orange County Department of Education