HealthDay News — Statewide legislative and educational interventions are associated with a reduction in the yearly rates of kindergartners without up-to-date vaccination status, according to a study published in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

S. Cassandra Pingali, M.P.H., from Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted an observational study using California school-entry data from 2000 to 2017, to examine the rates of kindergartners who were not up to date on required vaccinations.

The researchers found that 721,593 of the 9,323,315 children who started attending school in California between 2000 and 2017 were not up to date on required vaccinations. There was an increase in the statewide rate of kindergartners without up-to-date status on vaccinations from 7.8 percent during 2000 to 9.84 percent during 2013. After implementation of Assembly bill 2109, a conditional admission education program, and Senate bill 277, there was a decrease to 4.87 percent during 2017. There was a decrease in the percentage change for within-school contact among kindergartners without up-to-date vaccination status from 26.02 percent during 2014 to 4.56 percent during 2017. Ninety-three clusters that contained 2,290 schools with high rates of kindergartners without up-to-date vaccination status were identified in 2014 to 2015; during 2016 to 2017, there were 110 clusters containing 1,613 schools.

“Overall, the results suggest that the risk of disease outbreak via potential contact among susceptible children decreased over the course of the interventions,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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