New Online Tool Identifies Daycare Facilities and Kindergartens with Low Immunization Rates in Contra Costa County

March 4, 2014 10:06 am · 37 comments


Contra Costa Health Services launched an online tool to raise awareness about the growing number of parents who avoid school-required immunizations for their kids – a trend that threatens the entire community, health officials said today.

Interactive maps at now make it easy for parents and the community to check immunization levels at most kindergartens and child care facilities in Contra Costa County.

The maps show that the kindergartens at five elementary schools and students at 22 child care facilities are especially vulnerable to outbreaks of serious, vaccine-preventable diseases because of low immunization levels.

The recent exposure of BART riders to measles by a contagious, unvaccinated passenger underscores that these diseases remain a serious risk, said Paul Leung, Contra Costa Public Health immunization coordinator.

“High immunity levels among those exposed likely prevented more people from getting sick. But with more people skipping vaccines, that could change,” Leung said. “It’s important to know that it takes only 10% of a population to opt out of immunization to fuel a disease outbreak that could sicken many people, including those too young or too sick to receive vaccine.”

Schools require students to receive doctor-recommended vaccines against several diseases, such as measles, whooping cough and polio, but California law allows parents with personal beliefs against vaccination to opt out.

The maps show the percentage of students at each campus who did not receive all their vaccinations because parents filed a Personal Belief Exemption (PBE). The use of PBEs has increased over the past five years, both locally and statewide.

The campus with the highest 2013 kindergarten PBE level in the county – 50% – is East Bay Waldorf School in El Sobrante, which briefly closed in 2008 due to a whooping cough outbreak.

Health officials hope that a new state law that went into effect this year will improve immunization rates. The law requires families seeking a PBE to meet with their healthcare providers to discuss vaccine and disease facts, ensuring that parents have access to accurate information.

“There is no reason why children and other community members should be at increased risk of contracting whooping cough, measles and other serious diseases that can be prevented with vaccines,” said Dr. Joanna Chin, a pediatrician at CCHS’ Martinez Health Center. “Many of the parents I see who want to skip vaccines for their children do so based on faulty information. Access to accurate information can help parents make informed decisions.”

Visit THIS LINK to view the maps.

personally March 4, 2014 at 10:26 AM

When their child dies from a serious, preventable disease, they will blame everyone but them selves and Sue the daycare/school.

Uh? March 4, 2014 at 11:04 AM

I thought if your kid didn’t have proper vaccinations they couldn’t attend school. True? Also when their kid contracts something preventable is a kid with shots still ok?

hmm March 4, 2014 at 11:11 AM

damn hippie parents

Concord Wins March 4, 2014 at 11:14 AM

I was really surprised to see that Walnut Creek has way more ignorant parents than Concord. Hooray, we win!

michelle March 4, 2014 at 11:15 AM

personally, I agree with you. What would be interesting to see income based on this map. Is it me or does it seem like the affluent areas have the most pbes?

anon0304 March 4, 2014 at 11:16 AM

As a child care provider myself, it is against the law to disclose to other parents if a not vaccinated. It’s their privacy right and they’re protected by that. I’m allowed to take in vaccinated and non vaccinated children at my discretion.

Dorothy March 4, 2014 at 11:43 AM

My sons had to wait for a specific very good child care provider because she was taking care of child with small pox and didn’t want them exposed. So until they could go to her I took them to another recommended provider – who neglected to mention that two to kids she was caring for had chicken pox. At the time they were not considered old enough to get the small pox vaccination which could be given to older children. So they didn’t get small pox at the first but both got chicken pox at the second.

Not vaccinating ones own kids risks exposing all other kids who might not have been vaccinated but the adults around them as well. Not all adults have had childhood diseases or since gotten vaccinations against them.

Silva March 4, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Seems like great information to know. I know my kid couldn’t attend school at Oakland Unified w/o his “passport to school” (ie; his current immunization record.

Charles-the-cat March 4, 2014 at 12:04 PM

@Dorothy – smallpox?

anon March 4, 2014 at 12:05 PM

That’s why I send my kids to a church affiliated preschool. I know prayer is a part of each day. Prayers will keep the illness away.

Hessianerd March 4, 2014 at 12:40 PM
Jess March 4, 2014 at 12:52 PM

@Uh?, Yes, parents are required to show proof their children have received the required vaccinations, BUT….. They can get an exemption if they fill out a form stating vaccination is against their personal beliefs or if they have a letter from their doctor stating that there is a medical reason why their child cannot be vaccinated.

While vaccines are very effective, they are not necessarily 100% effective. According to the government 95% of people who get the first MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) shot will develop immunity to all three viruses. Almost all of the rest will develop immunity after a second dose. The chicken pox vaccine is only 80-90% effective. However, if your vaccinated child does catch the chicken pox virus from another child, his case will probably be much less severe than if he hadn’t had the shot.

I’d certainly think twice before I’d put my child in a school that has a high percentage of unvaccinated children.

typical concord resident March 4, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Oh look, it’s much worse in the areas where the trophy wives have too much time on their hands than it is where people actually have other things to worry about. Gee, that’s a surprise.

Suzanne March 4, 2014 at 12:59 PM

I send my children to one of the elite schools in the bay area. But I had to make sure that the IR was up-to-date and of the health policies of the school were intact. He didn’t have a chance in a million without the letter I wrote to the board to let him in. Especially with all of these outbreakes of illnesses. Thank you for posting this and I know where the website is to keep track of such things. Now I have to see which was first again? Just thinking out loud.

And now, the rest of the story... March 4, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Did you know: The Federal government VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) receives about 11,000 reports of serious adverse reactions to vaccinations annually, which include as many as one to two hundred deaths, and several times that number of permanent disabilities?

Did you know: Coroners don’t check the vaccination status of SIDS victims? Japan raised their vaccination age from two months to two years; their incidence of SIDS went from an infant mortality ranking of 17th to 1st in the world.

More info:

There is a large amount of data indicating vaccines are about profit, that more and more vaccine types are being developed and required by legislation to develop more profit. Odd that big Pharma spent $250,000,000 in lobbying efforts in 2013. No?

Me? I had a couple shots as a kid but then my parents didn’t continue the regimen. I rarely get sick, only a few times a decade. I also consume healthy foods regularly, which I feel is the best medicine.

Like global warming, I sometimes wonder if the scare tactics of the immunization craze is about developing new revenue streams for corporations. Do your own research, as we are seeing too much government information being provided to governments by corporations.

Good day…

The Truth March 4, 2014 at 1:07 PM

The PBE clause translation: I am too f-ing proud and arrogant of a parent to take my little child down to the local clinic and get them a vacinnation shot, for their own saftey and those of other children. Losers.

Wonderful to know that the Walnut Creek elitist are now saying that their kids are so special they dont need vacinnation shots. Let us all hope these people dont continue to reproduce.

anon March 4, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Duh…the vaccinated are safe from these diseases, right? Why are the vaccinated so afraid? Come on use some common sense. According to the health dept. if you are vaccinated, you are safe from these diseases.

The Real Ugly Middle-Aged Wives of WC March 4, 2014 at 1:15 PM

@12 — well said.

But in defense of the WC middle aged trophy housewives, they simply don’t have enough time….I mean, between the day spas, shopping at Forever 21, going to yoga class to flirt with the 19 yr old instructor, getting their hair done, peticure/manicures everyday…it is an exhausting lifestyle!!!

AWESOME DAD March 4, 2014 at 1:47 PM

The schools and daycares with the highest % of PBEs is a weird mix of some of the poorest and wealthiest areas.

Not sure what conclusion can be drawn from that.

Likely it shows that the wealthy and poor behave differently than the middle class — who in this case behave most predictably in that they tend to follow the guidance they’re given.

Just Some Guy March 4, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Who are the morons who aren’t getting immunizations? Anyone with a brain knows that the research into the link between immunizations and autism were completely bogus. It was conducted on a sample of kids who attended one birthday party. No, I’m not kidding. Look it up.

Not only that but of the 12 – yeah, just 12 kids – all of the medical histories were altered.

Some Hollywood bimbo makes it news and the sheep just bray after. And that would be just fine except for the fact that those kids can get my kid sick. That happens and your personal belief exemption isn’t going to save your ass.

funny man March 4, 2014 at 2:04 PM

isn’t it ironic?
the rich educated white suburban demogrpahic…. is also the most gullible

And now, the rest of the story... March 4, 2014 at 2:28 PM

@17, “Duh…the vaccinated are safe from these diseases, right?…Come on use some common sense. According to the health dept. if you are vaccinated, you are safe from these diseases.” Nope, not true.

Effectiveness of vaccines:

Con: 77% of those vaccinated against mumps got mumps:

Anon March 4, 2014 at 3:08 PM

You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet- always check your sources! I’ve noticed that those against vaccinations are quick to cite “” as a credible source. It is not. The man behind this website, “Doctor” Jospeh Mercola, does not even have an M.D. He is an osteopathic physician (someone who practices alternative medicine). The FDA has warned, on multiple occasions, that he has made illegal and exaggerated claims on vaccinations, AIDS, cancer, etc.

And now, the rest of the story... March 4, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Correct, Mercola does not like the FDA, and the drug industry-funded FDA doesn’t like him.

I had a medical issue years ago and the Walnut Creek doctor I saw put me on meds. I was on them for a few years ($$$). Then I learned if I ate different food my issue would go away. I ate that food, still do a couple times a month, and the condition is gone from my body because I am giving my body the nutrients it desires to remain healthy. Gee Doc, instead of a prescription, why didn’t you just tell me to eat more carrots? I don’t take anymore chemicals into my system from meds. Mercola promotes this approach, eat better food, get off drugs.

Secondly, PBS Frontline commented on the too cozy relationship between Big Pharma and the FDA (they receive funds from the Pharma industry), and stated…”So in many ways, the FDA started looking upon the industry as their client, instead of the public and the public health, which should be the client.” Also… “And the culture at the FDA has become, “Please the industry. Avoid conflict. Look upon our role as getting out as many drugs as possible.”

More here for the curious:

tired of taxes March 4, 2014 at 5:04 PM

If you have no reason to believe that something is wrong, you will have no motivation to find out anything about it other than what is spoon-fed to you by mainstream media.

Back in 1999, a lot of people scoffed at the idea that Windows had backdoors built-in for government agencies. Almost a decade later, those same people will laugh at someone who has not heard about Snowden and the PRISM program and believes that his information is secure.

More than a decade ago, dentists would have scoffed at you if you suggested that the mercury in your mercury amalgams might leach into your bloodstream.
Now, it is not a stretch of logic or imagination that mercury amalgams might indeed be harmful and the common person would probably opt for something else.

With enough time (and, unfortunately, enough deaths) the populace will eventually catch up and wise up on the issue of vaccines.

TinFoiler March 4, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Wow! Just WOW. Somebody wants to accuse people of not knowing history and that All of those people that died of polio are a reminder to get vaccinated.
HELLO – Ever heard of SV40? Ever heard of Dr. Mary’s Monkey?
I suggest you look it up and the Admitted Millions of TAINTED with the SV40 Virus polio vaccinations given out. We don’t do that today though – we send our tainted vaccinations to other countries as a gift.

tired of taxes March 4, 2014 at 5:13 PM

@Anon #23
You might want to follow your own advice on checking your sources (i.e. quackwatch,com)

Well.. March 4, 2014 at 6:00 PM

There has been no official test done to prove the un-vac are healthier than vac’d. The only ” test” that I could find was 94 un-vac’d kids vs. 12,000 vaccinated kids. If you want real results, it needs to be 1 to 1. With those numbers, of course the un-vac will show being healthier. It’s flawed.

If parents want to not get their kids vaccinated, they should be forced to sign a paper saying that they will take all responsibility , legal and financial, should their child get sick and or die.

And now, the rest of the story... March 4, 2014 at 6:03 PM

…and a few more thoughts on vaccines, who makes them, false efficacy, the inclusion of mercury, etc…

guest March 4, 2014 at 6:25 PM

@ tired of taxes:
Thanks for the link! Interesting info.

A brief summary: “Stephen Barrett is now de-licensed.. He also operates at least 20 websites affiliated with his main site, The website and its affiliate web sites are seemingly designed to spread deceitful, untruthful and malicious propaganda about chiropractic and other non-conventional health practices. In addition, Barrett and his groups also frequently consult for major media magazines, television, radio, governmental agencies such as the FBI, FTC and FDA and even the AMA.”

Interesting indeed!

guest March 4, 2014 at 6:34 PM

I think the dots on the map indicate 3 things. 1. The citizens of Pittsburg, a fully green-dotted city, follow government direction with the least amount of individual research to contest government direction. 2. The mix of yellow/green across Concord and Pleasant Hill indicate some areas follow government direction without contesting the direction and some do their own research and disagree with the gov’t mandates. 3. Orinda/Walnut Creek/Lafayette have more free time, and use it to develop their own research which contests government direction more frequently.

Basel March 4, 2014 at 6:45 PM

First, thanks to ClayCord for posting this information. The local TV media reported on this issue but did not provide a link on the air or on their website. ClayCord is best for fast breaking news in the area.

Second, it’s disturbing that seemingly educated, middle-to-upper income parents are opting out of the immunization programs. Certainly they have medical insurance to back-up their bad decisions, but the unnecessary suffering, crikey.

vindex March 4, 2014 at 9:49 PM

I believe children should be immunized… My child is. However, people have filled out a LAWFUL PBE… This is in effect penalizing the day care centers for honoring the law. THIS WEBSITE IS INTIMIDATION PLAIN AND SIMPLE. CCC stop being a bully. This is ridiculous.

Cuzzzzzzzzzzzzz March 5, 2014 at 8:04 AM

While Measles, Mumps and Chicken Pox are rarely fatal things like Whoping Cough and Small Pox are. Some of you think it is okay to not vaccinate against Small Pox??? It has not be eradicated world wide. It is still out there. There recently was a case of Measles in the east bay thought to have come in from the Philippines. What if this had been Small Pox. Considering Concord has a large population of undocmented residents and there is a rise in drug resistant Tubeculosis due to this (check the county stats) whats to say the next thing that comes in and spreads won’t be Small Pox.

Rob March 5, 2014 at 4:55 PM

IMHO if a parent wishes to not get their kid vaccinated- while I think it is naive to do so – they have that right – but if their kid passes along something to another kid (because vaccines are not 100%) then that parent who chose to not get the vaccination should be responsible for all medical costs for the other kid….

@The Anti-Vaxxer Nutjob March 6, 2014 at 8:40 AM

I like how you spout about the greed and conspiracy of vaccines by big-pharma while the links you provide are covered in ads directed at like-minded Coo-Coos. It’s all about money, you’re just being sold something else, except what you’re being sold has the possibility endanger an entire community. I’m not going to debate the greed of a large corporation, because that based in a good amount of reality. How about you link to some peer-reviewed studies…some ACTUAL science to back up your claims?

CW March 7, 2014 at 8:35 PM

A PBE has to be filed even if a parent declines a single vaccine (like the chicken pox vaccine, which is not routinely given in many European countries). My kids are vaccinated against all serious diseases spread via casual contact, but I had to file PBE’s for my two youngest kids because of declining the chicken pox and Hep B shots (my oldest attended a private daycare in a state without a PBE when she was a toddler).

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