Despite all the controversy surrounding the issue at the time, we applauded the state Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown in 2015 for adopting legislation making it mandatory that children who enter school, or day care, be vaccinated. At the time, we called it a “shot in the arm for common sense.” Well, the legislation is starting to pay off. According to state health data, the percentage of fully immunized children who started kindergarten in the fall was 95.6 percent, up from 92.8 percent in 2015. That’s the highest rate of immunization since 2002. It’s also paying off here in Sonoma County, which had one of the lowest immunization rates, causing an increase in such communicable — and preventable — diseases as measles and whopping cough. The portion of fully immunized kindergartners here rose from 92.1 percent to 93.4 percent.
Doctors say the immunization rate for kindergartners needs to be at least 92 percent to ensure a “herd immunity” environment that protects the health of everyone. This is one time that the public can be gratified that California is following the herd.