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In 2016, a California policy (Senate Bill 277) eliminated nonmedical vaccination exemptions for school entry. Afterwards medical exemptions for kindergarteners increased, and California tightened restrictions on medical exemptions through two Senate bills (collectively SB276) passed in 2019.

A new research letter in JAMA published on October 2 evaluates how medical exemptions changed, and where kindergarteners live who are not up-to-date on their vaccines after SB276 passed. The letter, co-authored by CPC Faculty Fellow Paul Delamater (Geography) details county-level changes in kindergarteners who were not up to date on vaccinations, had medical exemptions, or were not subject to the vaccination requirements.

What Delamater and other researchers found was mixed: the percentage of kindergarteners with medical exceptions went down, while the percentage of kindergarteners not up-to-date on vaccinations increased. Further details are available on JAMA.