Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Who's Not Getting Shot?

Kimberly Ralston, San Diego Immunization Partnership, a UCSD contract with the SD County Immunization Branch, 9500 Gilman Drive # 0720, La Jolla, CA, USA and Wendy Wang, San Diego Immunization Program, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, PO Box 85222, Mail Stop P511B, 3851 Rosecrans Street, San Diego, CA, USA.

Learning Objectives for this Presentation:
By the end of the presentation participants will be able to:
• describe a “Personal Beliefs Exemption” (PBE) as defined by California state law and how it differs from other states.
• identify whether more PBE's are claimed by private or public school and childcare attendees.
• cite reasons behind a study that will further delve into the basis for individuals choosing PBE's and will provide the basis for an educational campaign.

With an increasing number of immunization exemptions being cited for personal, religious, or philosophical reasons it is important to better understand the landscape of who is choosing not to vaccinate their children. Historically it has been assumed that private schools and childcare centers have a higher number of Personal Beliefs Exemptions than do their public counterparts.

The main objective is to determine whether public or private facilities have more Personal Beliefs Exemptions in San Diego County. It will also attempt to obtain baseline data and background information for future studies and educational campaigns surrounding Personal Beliefs Exemptions.

Data on the quantity of Personal Beliefs Exemptions is collected through annual self-reported assessments that are mandated by the California Department of Health, Immunization Branch.

Preliminary data suggests that there is no statistically significant difference between the number of Personal Beliefs Exemptions in public and private schools and childcare centers.

There are a myriad of reasons to opt for a Personal Belief Exemption that cross the span of public and private schools. It is important to know the geographic dispersal and high concentrations of PBE's in the community so that future research and education can be focused in those areas.