January 27, 2023 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Low Vaccination Rates at Westside Kindergartens

Less than half of students vaccinated at one local school

By Sam Catanzaro 

California law requires all children to receive certain immunizations in order to attend both public and private schools, but in the past year, the vaccination rate among many kindergarten students in and near Santa Monica are declining. 

Under California Health and Safety Code, Sections 120325-120375 children in California are required to receive certain immunizations in order to attend public and private schools while schools and pre-kindergarten facilities are required to enforce immunization requirements, maintain immunization records of all children enrolled and submit reports.

According to data released recently by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), however, vaccination rates at three kindergartens on the Westside serving many Santa Monica families declined by more than 13 percent over the past year. At a fourth local school, while vaccination rates increased, less than half the kindergarten student body was fully vaccinated, according to CDPH. 

Comparing data from 2017-2018 to data from 2018-2019 shows that at Garden of Angeles a private school located on 18th Street in Santa Monica, vaccination rates among kindergarteners decreased by 24 percent, from 81 percent in ’17-’18 down to 57 percent in ’18-’19. The vaccines included in the data are Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTP), polio, measles, Hepatitis B and varicella. 

At another private school, Westside Waldorf located on Sunset Boulevard, while vaccination rates increased from previous years, according to CDPH data, the vaccination rate among kindergarteners in 2018-2019 was only 43 percent. The school did not report 2017-2018 data, but between 2015-2017, the rate was only 27 percent.

In an email to the Santa Monica Mirror, Westside Waldorf said that the school works closely with the CDPH and are “diligent” in informing the community that students not fully immunized may be excluded from school if necessary, but added that the school does not take a position on vaccination. 

“The school does not take a position on vaccination nor do we advise families on medical decisions. We cannot speculate about why our vaccination rate is lower than some other communities, and we strive to put all students’ health and welfare first. We respect our families’ diverse perspectives on many topics but realize that families tend to make decisions about vaccinations long before they join our school community,” said School Administrative Chair Ellie Jenkins. “Our school is not anti-vaccine and we do not align ourselves with the anti-vaccine movement. Westside Waldorf school is an advocate of and for science and believe that scientific advancement is critical to a flourishing society. The majority of children in our schools are vaccinated and we follow California state law regarding vaccinations and exemptions.” 

At other private schools in the area, low vaccination rates among kindergartners were reported as well. At Notre Dame Academy Elementary on Overland Avenue, vaccination rates among kindergarteners decreased by 19 percent, from 83 percent in ’17-’18 down to 64 percent in ’18-’19. Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles on Pico Boulevard saw a similar drop in kindergarten vaccination rates: from 87 percent down to 76 percent.

“We are an international school, thus welcoming many foreign students to our school – most of which come from France and other European countries where the Varicella vaccine is not mandatory and in some cases not recommended,” said Hillary Larson Marketing and Communications Director for Le Lycée, adding that the school takes “immunization compliance very seriously.”

Private schools were not the only ones to see a drop in vaccination rates. At John Muir Elementary School in Santa Monica, vaccination rates among kindergartners declined from over 95 percent in 2017-2018 to 82 percent in 2018-2019. Similarly, at Canyon Charter Elementary in Santa Monica Canyon, part of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), kindergarten vaccination rates decreased from 93 percent in ’17-’18 to 75 percent in ’18-’19.

According to the LAUSD, inaccurate information may be responsible for these apparent declines.

“The data you have is from the annual report all schools are required to submit to the state every Fall (usually October or November).  The reports we are running will include the most recent rate.  A student who may have been reported as non-compliant at the time the report was submitted may have since received their necessary vaccines and will be counted as compliant,” said Ellen T. Morgan of LAUSD’s Office of Communications, saying the District would provide the Santa Monica Mirror with more accurate data in the coming days. Check back for an updated version.

Related Posts

Debris Washed Ashore at Santa Monica Beach

January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023

Debris Washed Ashore at Santa Monica Beach During Last Week’s Storms. @smmirrornews Debris Washed Ashore at Santa Monica Beach During...

Popular Health-Conscious Restaurant Closes Downtown Santa Monica Location

January 26, 2023

January 26, 2023

Flowerchild no longer at 1332 Second Street By Dolores Quintana A popular health-conscious restaurant has shut down its Downtown Santa...

Iconic Roscoe’s Chicken ‘n Waffles Shutters its Pico Location

January 26, 2023

January 26, 2023

LA-based chain to focus on flagship on La Brea and Washington By Dolores Quintana For everyone who loves Roscoe’s Chicken...

Santa Monica Road Rage Incident Results in Shooting and Arrests for Attempted Murder

January 25, 2023

January 25, 2023

Manuel Jaramillo-Heredia and Emilio Reyes were arrested in connection to Tuesday incident By Sam Catanzaro A road rage incident escalated...

Column – A California Positive: Kids Swarm Extra Classes

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

By Tom Elias It’s become a cliché, the shibboleth that California has lousy public schools and most of the kids...

New Sourdough Bagel Shop Now Open in Ocean Park

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

Layla’s Bagels by chef Sergio Espana (formally from Tartine and Gjusta) has opened a shop on Ocean Park. @smmirrornews New...

Westside Food Bank Struggling to Find Eggs

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

Avian flu outbreak and inflation have been driving these shortages Westside Food Bank is turning to alternative suppliers to try...

St. Joseph Center President & CEO Leaving Organization to Lead LAHSA

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

25-year veteran of St. Joseph Center will service as serve as CEO of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Dr....

Michigan Man Extradited to Santa Monica for Beach Parking Lot Murder

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

Mohamed Abou-Arabi faces murder charges for November killing By Sam Catanzaro A Michigan man has been extradited to Santa Monica...

Million Dollar Listing To Sell Local Luxury Estate: Santa Monica Real Estate Report – January 23rd, 2023

January 23, 2023

January 23, 2023

Property, Developments, And Listings On The Westside.* Million Dollar Listing To Sell Local Luxury Estate* New Data Shows Luxury Brick...

Disbarred Attorney Sentenced to Prison for Deceiving Investors with Real Estate Scheme Involving Santa Monica, Hermosa Beach and LA Properties

January 22, 2023

January 22, 2023

Prosecutors say defendant DEREK Jones sold interests in real estate that he did not own DEREK Jones, a disbarred California...

Mold and Water Repairs to John Muir Elementary Delayed

January 21, 2023

January 21, 2023

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) says it expects repairs to be complete by 2025. @smmirrornews Mold and Water Repairs...

Century-Old California Craftsman Home Hits Market Steps from Santa Monica Beach

January 21, 2023

January 21, 2023

$4.4 million price tag on Vicente Ter home Nestled on a tranquil, tree-lined block of Santa Monica, mere steps from...

California Business Group Files Lawsuit Against Santa Monica Transfer Tax Initiative

January 21, 2023

January 21, 2023

California Business Roundtable files lawsuit The Transfer Tax Initiative By Dolores Quintana A California business organization has filed a lawsuit...

Market Report: Seasonal Squash

January 20, 2023

January 20, 2023

Two types of squashes currently in season at the Santa Monica Farmers Market @smmirrornews What’s in season at the Santa...