National Immunization Awareness Month Faces Uphill Battle In Wealthy Areas Of U.S.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month. An annual observance held to highlight the importance of vaccinations for people of all ages. However, this year it feels a bit like an oxymoron, as certain high-income areas of the United States have vaccination rates on par with low-income countries around the world.
For example, in recent years parents in California have elected to not vaccinate their children through what are called Non-medical Exemptions or Personal Belief Exemptions, whereby parents could be exempted from the traditional medical recommendations because of what they philosophically believe. In fact, parents in California are opting at twice the rate as previous years from getting their children vaccinated. This has led to immunization rates in places like Santa Monica and Beverly Hills that are as low as the country of Chad and South Sudan.