Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bay Citizen: Immunization database

This from the Bay Citizen:

With a new school year starting, some local health departments are concerned that unvaccinated children could contribute to the spread of diseases such as whooping cough. The topic of whether to vaccinate or not is a hot button issue both in the Bay Area and nationally - the database already sparked a huge amount of debate in many forums where we've posted it.

The results from the database are startling. For instance, the schools below have the highest vaccination opt-out rates from the 2009-2010 school year:
  1. Sebastopol Independent Charter, Sebastopol, Sonoma County - only 12% of kindergartners are fully vaccinated
  2. Sunridge Charter, Sebastopol, Sonoma County - 29%
  3. East Bay Waldorf, El Sobrante, Contra Costa County - 30%
  4. San Francisco Waldorf, San Francisco, San Francisco County - 32%
  5. Waldorf Sch. Of The Peninsula, Los Altos, Santa Clara County - 35%
  6. Marin Waldorf Sch., San Rafael, Marin County - 37%
  7. San Geronimo Valley Elem., San Geronimo, Marin County - 46%
  8. California Virtual Academy @ San Mateo, Simi Valley, San Mateo County - 50%
  9. Diablo Valley Montessori, Lafayette, Contra Costa County - 50%
  10. Hope Technology, Palo Alto, San Mateo County - 50%
You can look up the vaccination rate at any school in San Francisco using the database: Click here.

31 comments:

  1. Am I looking at something different? The chart I see is the kindergarten vaccination rate (as opposed to the whole school). Anyway, for San Francisco Waldorf, it shows 24% vaccinated, 68% with a "personal belief" exemption. That's for kindergarten, so maybe the rate for the whole school is elsewhere.

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  2. I'm sympathetic to poor people who can't get to the doctor's office or whatever, but this upper-middle-class hippie shit endangering an entire school's worth of kids makes me furious. You want to skip vaccinating your kids, move to the sticks and homeschool.

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  3. Gnomes will protect the kids at Waldorf schools from Whooping Cough.

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  4. Yes, I think it's kindergarten only.

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  5. 7 30 AM Poster Could not agree with you more. Those upper-middle class hippies havent' seen what these childhood diseases can do - maybe a trip to a few third world countries where families clamour and line up for days to get access to vaccines would be an eye opener. In the meantime we are all put at risk by their belief in the power of gnomes

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  6. I kinda didn't mean to, but I got sucked into a debate about vaccination with a Waldorfite on the Glen Park Parents listserve yesterday. If you find me strangled by a gnome with a Maypole ribbon, you'll know what happened.

    In the process I researched some past news coverage and found this snip -- implying that Ms. Starry-Eyed Waldorf Mommy thinks that limiting TV exposure will help her child avoid pertussis without immunization.

    http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=127189135660662400

    4/22/10

    Both have sons who attend Portland Village School, a Waldorf-inspired North Portland public charter school that happens to have the second-highest rate of kindergarten vaccine exemptions in the county, at 43 percent.

    “I just think the human body has the capacity, with proper nourishment, to manage viruses that can attack the body,” Lyden says, noting that the family eats organic, limits its TV exposure and gets plenty of outdoor exercise.

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  7. Craziness. Our son's grandma has been on crutches and in a wheelchair for 73 years from the polio epidemic of the late 1930s. They didn't have TV or processed foods and there was nothing to do in those impoverished times BUT play outside. Needless to say we run don't walk to every recommended immunization and thank God and the medical research community that we have the use of our legs to do so.

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  8. Before certain posters light the torches and gather the (immunized) villagers please note: the data is for kids who are FULLY immunized. This doesn't include children who may be immunized for some diseases but not say hepatitis B. I have children born 20 years apart and I can tell you my eldest was fully immunized with a fraction of the types and number of doses given today. I opted out of the hep B for my newborns as well as chicken pox all together. My children are not fully immunized under the current guidelines but are immunized to the extent that I feel is necessary for their particular circumstances.
    Our doctor conquers that they are adequately covered. However, I still have to sign a waiver.

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  9. Sorry, our doctor may conquer out of the office but in this case he concures.

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  10. concurs

    and hopefully, cures.

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  11. If your vaccinating your child, you are an idiot. And guilty of child abuse if you kid gets one of those preventable illnesses. Science is good. Not perfect, but there is NO data to indicate vaccines should be avoided. Why not just go all in for faith healing as well. Argh.

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  12. me 9pm. i'm meant if you are NOT vaccinating, you are an idjiot. double argh for bad grammar and typos.

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  13. Indeed he does I good deal better than I spell. Thanks!

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  14. I am utterly perplexed as to why people would choose NOT to vaccinate against Hepatitis B. With the large population of Asian immigrants in San Francisco, we have one of the highest-risk populations in the country (Hep B is endemic in East Asian and Southeast Asian countries). Chronic Hepatitis B infection has a 25% chance of progressing to end-stage liver failure and liver cancer. Hepatitis B acquired in childhood has an even higher risk of progressing to cancer. It makes sense to vaccinate your children against a virus that causes CANCER, right? Okay. Public service annoucement over.

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  15. Yeah, chicken pox is one thing, as relatively few people die from it. But Hep B is serious. 4:38, I don't feel judgy so much as concerned for your kids. True, body fluid/blood transmission is unlikely in childhood, but what about adolescence? Can you get the vaccine later in the game?

    Of course, you are talking to someone who plans to march her daughter off for the HPV vaccine as soon as she's eligible for it. I just assume that behavior I hope won't happen might, anyway, and better safe than sorry.

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  16. You can get the Hep B vaccine anytime during your life. I honestly think it's bizarre that a newborn gets it within days of being born.

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  17. 4:38 here. My point was that the data in this study is skewed. Including every child who has any type of waiver creates an unclear though dramatic statistic.

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  18. I missed weeks and weeks of school and was seriously ill with chicken pox as a child, and I still have scars from it. It's not as "nothing" a disease as people think.

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  19. We had a public health doctor come and talk with our preschool about allowing waivers for Hep B vaccine. The reason it's done as a childhood vaccine for public health reasons, not because infants and toddlers are at risk for Hep B. Almost every child sees a doctor regularly until school age, and most get their vaccines.

    After starting kindergarten, kids don't necessarily get check ups regularly. Most health plans only cover every 2 years, and it's easy to let another year or two slip by. It's important to get Hep B by adolescence, but if you depend on parents to bring their kids in at this critical time period, many children will fall through the cracks.

    Some parents choose to wait, and are on top of getting their child vaccinated against Hep B later. But for best protection of the entire population, it's better to vaccinate during the early childhood window.

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  20. The failure to immunize by some Waldorf parents is frustrating and perhaps even reprehensible, but I find the comments about Waldorf education here mean spirited and unnecessary to make your point. Strangled by a maypole? Come on. P.S. I went to a Waldorf school for 9 years, am fully vaccinated, and chose a public school for our kids.

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  21. Hepatitis B is really, really nasty in infants and young kids, who may well be exposed to it by nannies, daycare providers, etc who come from countries where Hep B is endemic. I see no reason not to vaccinate.

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  22. "The failure to immunize by some Waldorf parents is frustrating and perhaps even reprehensible,"

    It is morally reprehensible, given the role herd immunity from vaccination plays in protecting immunocompromised individuals who can't receive vaccinations themselves. But it's not surprising given Steiner's (the founder of Waldorf) views on vaccinations and his technophobia.

    [Although maybe if someone had convinced Steiner that Atlantis/Lemuria had developed vaccination he might have changed his mind.]

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  23. 9:37, Waldorf schools are a hotbed of parents who decline to vaccinate. There are no other schools that remotely compare. For those of us who think it's irresponsible to rely on OTHER parents' willingness to vaccinate, Waldorf is the elephant in the room on that topic.

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  24. With current vaccination regimes, today's kids are less likely to get the chicken pox or mumps many of us got as children. If they are not vaccinated for those relatively "harmless" diseases and don't catch them as kids, they are exposed to them as adults. Males in particular get very sick with these as adults, and there can be severe side effects.

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  25. Chicken pox is friggin' awful as an adult. I got it at 23, and it laid me out for two weeks and I still have facial scars from the pockmarks. Plus you have the risk of shingles later - oh what a joy, 'cos the virus integrates into the genome of some of your nerve cells.

    I'd rather have had the vaccine.

    "9:37, Waldorf schools are a hotbed of parents who decline to vaccinate."

    It's not just Waldorf. A good chunk of chiropractors don't believe in vaccination, and pass on that to their patients. There's two quack chiropractors in Bernal/Noe who regularly give anti-vaccination lectures, after which there's traditionally a big flamewar on the Bernal Parents Yahoo Group.

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  26. Had a cousin who got mumps as a young adult and it sterilized him. Sad 'cause he really loved kids and wanted a big family. It's rare but it does happen.

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  27. The Bay Citizen list of vaccination rates school by school makes it clear that Waldorf schools have "refusal" rates far, far, far higher than any other schools except for a tiny number of charters. That's why it's an issue.

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  28. Wow. I just looked at the list and the Waldorf School in San Francisco is certainly an outlier with vaccination refusal rates many times that of any other school in San Francisco (other than 150 Parker, a school I don't know anything about.) I would be seriously scared about the whooping cough if I were there and my kid hadn't been vaccinated. Or if I had a baby too young to be fully vaccinated.

    I don't think the vaccine is 100% effective. A friend's two kids got it over the summer and they had been vaccinated fairly recently (it wears off.) They live down the peninsula and have very healthy diets as well as plenty of fresh air!

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  29. The fact that the pertussis vaccine (and several others) are not 100% effective and tend to wear off is precisely why herd immunity is so important. We rely on the fact that a high vaccination rate keeps the disease at bay, even for those who are not immune via vaccination--whether because they could not get the vaccine for medical reasons, or because it is for some reason not 100% effective for their particular bodies. But herd immunity requires a high level of compliance.

    This is very real. A friend of mine has a son who has recently been through chemo. He has missed some vaccinations. His immune system is comprised. He cannot attend his preschool unless everyone there is vaccinated.

    We forget how serious these diseases are. Wish I had taped my grandmother talking about the ravages and childhood deaths of her childhood--she thought vaccines were a miracle, allowing most parents to raise all their children to adulthood as a matter of course.

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  30. Regarding Hope Technology, in Palo Alto, 50% opting out rate

    this is a school for children with autism and the kooky parents who are devotees of a weirdo doctor think that vaccines caused their children's autism, so they will not vaccinate their children.

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  31. That chart doesn't say what vaccinations it's referring to, so let's assume it means the CA school standards.

    The CDC is recommending vaccination against rotavirus. We didn't vaccinate our child against rotavirus because it's not an actual health problem in the Western world and certainly not with healthcare-employed parents who can recognize diarrhea and handle extra hydration as needed.

    All it takes is extra lobbying from GlaxoSmithKline to mandate their rotavirus vaccination (Rotarix) in CA as well. If that happens, our child would show up as not vaccinated at all in databases like this. Does that seem as important as the current Pertussis issue?

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