Monday, February 02, 2015


Baby was too young for vaccination/SaMo High has a 7% opt-out rate for vaccinations

Brittny Mejia, LA Now/LA Times |

Feb 2, 2015, 12:06 PM  ::  A Southern California infant is one of the latest victims of the state's measles outbreak, prompting the closure of a child-care center on the Santa Monica High School campus that regularly cares for 24 infants and toddlers.

The baby is younger than 12 months and therefore hasn't been immunized for the measles, said Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District spokeswoman Gail Pinsker.

The child is enrolled in the infant care program at the Samohi Infant/Toddler Center. The measles case is the second one confirmed on the high school campus in recent weeks. The first case was that of a baseball coach.

The children at the high school's day-care center range in age from 6 weeks to 3 years. Most are the offspring of staff; three are the children of students.

The district first learned about the measles case Saturday and reached out to parents over the weekend to let them know about the indefinite closure of the center.

The district is working with the L.A. County Department of Public Health to determine the extent of exposure among those under the center's care.

Among students at the high school, 7% have waivers, for personal or religious beliefs or for medical reasons, that excuse them from the state-required MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.

There are 11.5% district wide with waivers, a decrease from 14.8% the year before, Pinsker said.

"We are seeing more incoming kindergartners whose parents have chosen to immunize their students," Pinsker said. "And some of our current students have gone off waiver."

About a week and a half ago, a freshman baseball coach was diagnosed with the virus. He is a walk-on coach and not a teacher or staff member of the high school, Pinsker said. It was determined the coach had come into contact with only about 70 baseball players, all of whom had received their immunizations.

In recent weeks, the district has sent out communications to families encouraging them to get their children immunized if they haven't already, Pinsker said.

The California Department of Public Health on Friday reported there were 91 cases of measles in the state, 58 of which can be linked to visitors or employees at Disneyland or those who came in contact with them over the holidays.

Cases connected to the California-centered outbreak have been confirmed in Arizona (five), Utah (three), Washington state (two), Michigan (one), Oregon (one), Colorado (one), Nebraska (one) and Mexico (two).

Ten counties in California have confirmed measles cases: Los Angeles, Alameda, Marin, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Ventura.

Times staff writer Rosanna Xia contributed to this report.

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