On Mandatory Vaccines, Private and Charter Schools Lag Behind

Charter schools and private schools are lagging behind public institutions when it comes to vaccine rates, an EdSource analysis of Health Department data has found. 78% of traditional public schools reported that all students were up to date compared to just 68% of private schools and 57% of charters.

The number of students obtaining medical exemption waivers is also higher at charter and private schools. Medical waivers exist for rare but important cases. However, experts say they’re being exploited by parents who wish to avoid vaccinations.

As for where the lagging vaccine rates are clustering, EdSource reports the following:

Those hot spots can be found north and east of San Francisco, in Sacramento and its surrounding suburbs and in the outskirts of Los Angeles. In the Sacramento area every school that has fewer than 81 percent of its students vaccinated is a charter school.

Schools with vaccination rates of less than 50 percent are largely charter schools in Sutter, Placer and Nevada counties in Northern California, with many offering online or independent study instruction. Some of these schools serve home-schooled students who by state law are exempt from vaccination.

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