Last week’s issue of the Journal Pediatrics sheds light on something that we see here in Arizona – that parental refusal and delay of childhood vaccines is clustered in certain communities. The study was done in California and found that the percentage of kids who were under-immunized increased from 8% in 2002–2005 to 13% in 2010.
They also found that kids from wealthier families were more likely to be under-immunized. Under-immunization ranged from a low of 9.2% in Santa Clara County to almost 18% in Marin County. The study also found distinct geographic clusters of under-immunized kids. In other words, certain wealthy communities develop a culture of under-immunization that results in marked lower immunization rates – which put the entire community at a higher risk of transmission of diseases like measles.