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Measles Outbreak Concerns Public Health Officials

Underscores Their Push for Vaccinations

KCBS Radio Morning News
January 30, 2019 - 8:00 am
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SAN RAFAEL (KCBS Radio) -- Public health officials are using the Pacific Northwest measles outbreak as an opportunity to remind parents of the importance of childhood vaccinations.

There have been 36 confirmed cases of measles in two Washington State counties.  In one of those counties, Clark, just 76.5 percent of  kindergartners had complete vaccination records in the last school year.

Marin County, where a number of measles cases were reported during a 2014-2015 outbreak, has long has a reputation as a place where "anti-vaxing" sentiments had taken root.

County health officials say aggressive public-information efforts and the 2016  passage of  Senate Bill 277, which eliminates personal and religious exemptions from immunization requirements for children in childcare and public and private schools, have driven Marin vaccination rates well above 90%.

"Vaccines are the number one tool we have in our public toolbox to prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases," said Lisa Santora, Marin County's Deputy Public Health Officer.