Scientist and researchers conducted a study in 2014 about childhood vaccinations and concluded that the practice is not only safe but highly recommended. According to a 2011 study in Public Health Reports, when parents refuse vaccines it’s usually due to concerns about children receiving too many shots or developing side effects, including autism.
In a recent study in California, it was found that kindergarten students most likely to be exempt from mandatory vaccinations based on their parent’s personal beliefs are white and wealthy. The percentage of kindergartners with state-issued personal belief exemptions doubled from 2007 to 2013, from 1.54% to 3.06%. That’s about 17,000 children, out of more than half a million, opting out.
Vaccine exemption percentages were higher in mostly white, high-income neighborhoods such as Orange County, Santa Barbara and parts of the Bay Area. In June of this year, California lawmakers outlawed personal belief exemptions, starting next summer. A “grandfather” clause will continue to exempt some children.