Immunization rates rise statewide, Kern County tops 95%

Immunization rates rise statewide, Kern County tops 95%

Usually when you see lists or reports about Kern County it’s about how bad things are here, but the county thrives in one area — vaccinating children.

A new state reports says the county had 95.1 percent of kindergarten students with all immunizations for the 2016-2017 school year. While the rate was just below the state’s average of 95.6 percent, Kern County has been at the top of the list when it comes to vaccinating its children.

The report, which was compiled by the California Department of Public Health, says the state’s improved vaccination rate may be due to increased awareness from a measles outbreak at Disneyland in 2014.

“These changes might also be attributable to an increased awareness of the risks of vaccine-preventable diseases and benefits of immunization, triggered in part by the measles outbreak that spread from Disneyland in December 2014 to at least 7 additional states and 2 other countries,” the report said.

Whatever the reason, the state report illustrates that immunization rates have increase steadily since 2014, when only 90.2 percent of children had all of their required immunization. That number, however, jumped after 2014 by 2.4 percent in 2015-16 school year before rising nearly 3 percent last year.

In 2015, Kern County was one of only 15 of California’s 58 counties to have more than 95 percent of its children have all immunizations met.

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