Shopping carts at the Berkeley Bowl.

Jenna Lane/KCBS Radio

Measles Exposure At Berkeley Bowl Stokes Unease

Jenna Lane
May 19, 2019 - 4:18 pm

BERKELEY — Recent cases of measles around the Bay Area have renewed conversations about the necessity of vaccines in preventing disease. 

Berkeley health officials had to alert the public last week that Berkeley Bowl shoppers may have encountered a person infected with measles at the busy supermarket

Berkeley Bowl shopper Emma Dobbins has a newborn who can't get the measles vaccine for at least six months, so she became concerned and conflicted when she heard about the chance of exposure. 

"I don't know, that makes me kind of rethink my more chill attitude toward taking my baby around," said Dobbins to KCBS Radio. "But the alternative doesn't seem palatable either, which is just to keep your baby inside and not let anybody around. So I don't really know."

Related: Where Bay Area Kids Are Unvaccinated

Dr. Mark Schleiss, a chair of pediatrics at University of Minnesota, lectures in favor of vaccines. He often hears people who refuse them say it's about their personal freedom. But he argues it's about that Berkeley mom's freedom, too. 

"The freedom of a family to go to the mall or go to the church or go to the park. The freedom of a family to take their children out in public places and know they'll be safe and protected," said Schleiss. "So freedom cuts both ways."

About 96percent of Berkeley kindergarteners are vaccinated, according to city officials.