Silver Lake schools on the spot over measles vaccinations

Photo courtesy CDC/ Amanda Mills

Photo courtesy CDC/ Amanda Mills


SILVER LAKE — A cluster of private child care centers and preschools on the north end of Silver Lake are among the 1,500 statewide that were found to have measles vaccination rates deemed to be at the highest risk of outbreaks, according to an L.A. Times report.

The schools were among those that reported vaccination rates of 92% or less last October to the California Department of Health, which published the results on its website. Health officials told the Times that a vaccination rate of 92%  “is a minimum to prevent an outbreak like measles from spreading rapidly.” The ideal rate is 95% or above.

The vaccination rates have received increased scrutiny in the wake of the measles outbreak at Disneyland that has spread to several states.

“I hear some parents talking,” said Jane Farrell, director and teacher at Silver Lake’s Neighborhood Nursery School, which recorded a measles immunization rate of 81% last fall. “Some parents are afraid but the parents who choose not to immunize are really standing their ground, abiding by their decision not to immunize their child.”

Farrell said the school follows the legal position of the state, and parents can use a personal belief exemption. “But we just ask them to file the form that proves they’ve spoken with their pediatrician about the risks and benefits of vaccination,” she said.

Some of the Silver Lake schools say their immunization rates have increased since the state figures were reported last fall. Arpi Idolor, director of the Los Angeles Family School, said the school’s immunization rate now stands at 99% compared to the 61% in the state report.

“Three years ago we changed our policy where children have to be immunized in order to enter,” she said of the Griffith Park Boulevard school. “One caveat is if there’s a medical condition or the child is born premature, has a serious medical reason or a delayed schedule because of a medical condition. Some kids are diabetics.”

“I respect a parent’s right to choose,” Idolor added. “No judgment on that, but I make sure my on grounds these kids are vaccinated. If they don’t want to be vaccinated, there are other schools.”

An employee at Camelot Kids Child Development Center on Rowena, which had an immunization rate of 90%, said staff was not at liberty to discuss its immunization policies.

No calls were returned from Rose Scharlin Cooperative Nursery School, with an immunization rate of 64%.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends all children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.

Matt Sanderson  is a journalist, photographer and digital media producer. A native of Rhode Island, he received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of New Hampshire and moved to Los Angeles in 2012 with Patch.com/AOL


  1. Dumb Yups! Back in the 1940s and 50s, we were glad to get these vaccines. I was one of the first kids to get the Saulk vaccine. Polio, Measles, Rubella were scourges among young kids. Now these dumb Yups stand on their perceived right to bring these diseases back and also compromise neighborhood kids, adults, and the nation as a whole. Folks, point them out and keep their kids away from your kids. They will probably never learn how dumb they are, but, like the drunk driver who causes an accident, they don’t get hurt, just the other guy! Oh, the other guys who stop vaccination are the TALIBAN!

  2. Not vaccinating is such a shockingly stupid thing to do. You’re endangering everyone around you, obviously. But almost more importantly, by sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the near universal medical and scientific support for vaccines, you’re putting your own kid at un-necessary risk of serious disease, permanent disfigurement and even death. I don’t understand how this is even legal.

    If you don’t want to vaccinate your kids, fine. You and your un-vaccinated kids can go live out in the woods and avoid all human contact. If you want to live in civilized society, you need to play by certain rules.

    Bravo to Arpi for not placating those idiots. If every other school adhered to this common sense philosophy our kids would be much safer, and those who chose to follow the medical advice of daytime talk show hosts and a single discredited scientist might second guess their dangerous intractability.

  3. My dear friend is a neo-natal nurse practitioner up in San Francisco. She has seen some very sick children and even death from a lack of vaccinating (whooping cough/Pertussis.)I just don’t understand the logic behind parents who put their children and others at risk. It is blatantly ignorant.

  4. I had a drummer tell me not to get the flu vaccine. I told him I’ll take medical advice from my docto

  5. can we please cut these anti-vax parents a break! they have to deal with all sorts of problems including the illuminati Reptilians!

  6. People, get a grip on yourselves and start discussing the issue like rational adults instead of frightened hysterics.
    How many of you have actually done any research on this topic??
    Not vaccinating is not a “shockingly stupid thing to do.” What is shockingly stupid is spewing things that you know nothing about. Like someone once said “You are not entitled to your own opinion, you are entitled to an informed opinion. No one is entitled to ignorance.”

    While the mainstream media wants to paint this as a fight between “hysterical moms against science”, that is not the reality. There are plenty of scientists that question the safety of vaccines and there is plenty of scientific proof that vaccines are linked to all sorts of heath problems. The information is there if you want to actually take the time to look into it instead of just following the herd.

    If you do decide to actually research this topic, you will see that most of the science out there that claims that vaccines are safe has been paid for by the pharmaceutical companies. “Pharmaceutical companies hire PR firms to promote drugs.” (or vaccines). “Those promotions include hiring free-lance writers to write articles for peer-reviewed journals, under the byline of doctors whom they also hire.” “Even the New England Journal of Medicine – often described as the world’s most prestigious medical journal – has been involved in controversies regarding hidden economic interest that shapes its content and conclusions.” (From “Trust Us We’re Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Health,” by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber)

    It should not come as a shock to anyone that scientists get bought. Lets not forget that they were telling us that cigarettes were safe. There is no such thing as “scientific consensus” when it come to vaccine safety and any scientist that tells you that is lying or getting paid by the Pharmaceutical companies.

    Here are some quotes from a top scientist:

    From Dr. Peter Fletcher, former Chief Scientific Officer at the Department of Health in the UK – which is roughly the same as the head of FDA:

    He has seen a “steady accumulation of evidence” from scientists worldwide that the measles, mumps and rubella jab is causing brain damage in certain children.
    He said if it is proven that the jab causes autism, “the refusal by governments to evaluate the risks properly will make this one of the greatest scandals in medical history”. And then he goes on to say, “Clinical and scientific data is steadily accumulating that the live measles virus in MMR can cause brain, gut and immune system damage in a subset of vulnerable children… There’s no one conclusive piece of scientific evidence, no ‘smoking gun’, because there very rarely is when adverse drug reactions are first suspected. When vaccine damage in very young children is involved, it is harder to prove the links. But it is the steady accumulation of evidence, from a number of respected universities, teaching hospitals and laboratories around the world, that matters here. There’s far too much to ignore. Yet government health authorities are, it seems, more than happy to do so.”

    A scientist at the CDC, Dr. Williams S. Thompson, was recently granted whistle blower immunity by the government for his role in covering up data that indicates high rates of autism in African-American boys after they were vaccinated with MMR Vaccine. Look him up.

    There are many more articles by prominent scientist and peer reviewed scientific papers that will debunk the idea that vaccines are safe. So anyone that says otherwise is ill informed at best.

    If you questioned the safety of the Ford Pinto, would that make you “anti-car”?
    So stop with the anti-vaxxer BS. It is just a PR initiated buzzword to demean parents who have common sense and start asking real questions. And while you are at it, turn off your TV.

    • There are a couple looney scientists that don’t think anthropogenic climate change is happening too. Do you think they are right too or do you limit your belief of outliers to anti-vax nutters?

    • Ra, I found another organization you might be interested in. They have some intriguing ideas.


    • RA I’ll make it simple for you. Point by point
      1) There are not “plenty of scientists” who question the efficacy and safety of vaccines. There are a tiny fraction of scientists out there who advocate against vaccination. Wakefield, the grand daddy of the anti-vaccine movement, was discredited and had his medical license revoked based on the incredibly sloppy work and flat out lies in his study. Lancet retracted the study. Most of those who do publish their anti-vaccination studies do not do so in peer reviewed journals and have no credence in the scientific community.

      2) You use the typical anti-vaxxer charade of “Big Pharma”. Yes, pharmaceutical companies do pay for some studies – they also pay to develop the vaccines themselves. Other studies are paid for by outside scientific organizations. They all conclude the same thing – vaccines are safe and effective. Again let’s look at the anti-vaxxer hero Wakefield – he had pending patents for alternative vaccines for the MMR and a lucrative book deal. He certainly was looking to profit from the Hysteria he caused. The statement “there is no such thing as scientific consensus” proves that you know nothing about what you are speaking.

      3) As for aluminum – it occurs naturally in the food and water. FDA recently did a study because of the latest hoopla. “The FDA study found that the maximum amount of aluminum an infant could be exposed to over the first year of life would be 4.225 milligrams (mg), based on the recommended schedule of vaccines. Federal Regulations for biological products (including vaccines) limit the amount of aluminum in the recommended individual dose of biological products, including vaccines, to not more than 0.85-1.25 mg. For example, the amount of aluminum in the hepatitis B vaccine given at birth is 0.25 mg.” The aluminum acts as an adjuvant – to boost the bodies immune response. BTW There is no aluminum in the MMR vaccination. Also you anti-vaxxers swore it was the thirmasol that caused autism. Now that it has been removed from all childhood vaccines the rates of autism have not declined. Funny how science works that way isn’t it.

      Anyhow I know none of this will change your mind, because you are too caught up in knowing that you are so much smarter than the majority of doctors and scientists out there. Keep looking at your fringe anti-vaxxer sites. But know that you are selfish ill-informed human being whose actions put the most vulnerable among us at grave risk. Hope you sleep well at night.

  7. If parents just stopped letting unvaccinated kids come over to their houses for playdates and birthday parties, I think we would see a lot more kids get vaccinated. No one wants their kids to be a pariah. We need some good old fashioned social coercion.

  8. Really skr, that’s all you have to say???? How about an intelligent response rather than the usual nonsense attack.. There are hundreds of scientist and doctors that question vaccines. Don’t be so ignorant, just research it. And while you will probably will not hear about this in the main stream media, there is going to be a congressional hearing with Dr. Williams S. Thompson from the CDC who admitted to covering up data of link between the MMR and autism.
    One last thing skr, below is a quote from Pubmed which is The US National library of Medicine at the National Institutes. Or do you think they are looney.

    Curr Med Chem. 2011;18(17):2630-7.
    Aluminum vaccine adjuvants: are they safe?
    Tomljenovic L1, Shaw CA.
    Author information

    Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant. Despite almost 90 years of widespread use of aluminum adjuvants, medical science’s understanding about their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor. There is also a concerning scarcity of data on toxicology and pharmacokinetics of these compounds. In spite of this, the notion that aluminum in vaccines is safe appears to be widely accepted. Experimental research, however, clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans. In particular, aluminum in adjuvant form carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and associated neurological complications and may thus have profound and widespread adverse health consequences. In our opinion, the possibility that vaccine benefits may have been overrated and the risk of potential adverse effects underestimated, has not been rigorously evaluated in the medical and scientific community. We hope that the present paper will provide a framework for a much needed and long overdue assessment of this highly contentious medical issue.
    PMID: 21568886 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

    • I understand how it might be hard to let go of something you believe and just admit you’re wrong. It’s human nature to cling to any (thoroughly discredited) thread you can grasp that will allow you to hang on to your dangerous beliefs.


      I just hope that this is only a theoretical discussion, and you don’t have your own kids to inflict your pseudoscience on.

    • Ra,
      The study you referenced was conducted by a couple of Ophthalmologists … so not really their area of expertise, and was paid for by three foundations that are virulently anti-vaccine. So I suggest you follow your own advice and pay attention to who funded the study and what outcome they were paying for.

      Also, as someone above noted, the MMR vaccine does not contain the aluminum adjuvants referenced in the study. Furthermore, they’ve been used in vaccines for over 70 years by millions. If there really was a potential related auto-immune and neuro-toxicity health problem, as the anti-vaccinationists claim, we would have seen that connection by now.

      What is not under dispute is that measles does kill a certain number of children who contract it and also not under dispute is that another group of children who contract it will suffer brain damage as a result. Personally, I’d opt for the lesser of two potential dangers, because one is in the vague realm of unproven hypothesis, while the other is known fact.

  9. ra,
    Thanks for being so eloquent and non-emotional. You’ve said exactly what I wish I could. We aren’t anti-vaxxers, we are all just trying to do what’s best. The attacks are mislead and media driven and useless.

    • The “attacks” you’re referencing are actually just facts. Facts based on thousands of scientifically sound studies.

      And you know what, this actually isn’t some parental “choice” like whether or not your kid watches TV, what religion to raise your kid in, or even whether or not to home school. Those choices do not affect anyone else around you. Just your kid. However, choosing not to immunize affects everyone around you. Not only are you subjecting your child to your willful ignorance, but you’re endangering everyone around you.

      Also, your selective information gathering is frightening. You would be much better served to broaden your search for information beyond the few misinformation sources that pander to your existing prejudices. You will find that any and all arguments you may have against immunization have been thoroughly and widely discredited many times over, by medical, scientific and governmental sources from around the globe. This is not a subject for which “the science isn’t in” or “big pharma” is brainwashing the majority of the world while a few brave voices speak the truth, fighting whatever conspiratorial organization you’ve dreamt up to keep this delusion alive.

  10. What’s super frustrating to me is that my kid’s preschool has what seems like a million dietary restraints for snack time (there are 29 kids). No gluten, no meat, no NUTS, no pineapple, no sugar, all organic. But if we’re serious, most 3, 4, and 5 year old kids can be trusted to refuse food that will make them really sick. That said, there are a solid 8+ kids in the school who are unvaccinated. They’re totally allowed to bring communicable diseases to the preschool, and no one’s allowed to say anything about it because it’s “parental choice.” And you can’t trust a 3, 4, or 5 year old kid to recognize measles in its contagious state, since that’s a solid 4 days prior to any symptoms, and I lives for 3 hours on solid surfaces and in the air. Such a freaking ridiculous irony, no?

    Btw, Ra, how do you really know smoking is bad for people? It could just be a Big Business/Big Pharma conspiracy to get everyone to use Nicorette!

    • Because it don’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you are inhaling smoke laced with chemicals it will make you sick just like it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you are injecting kids with mercury (yes there is still mercury in some vaccines), formaldehyde and aluminum it will make them sick.
      Your analogy about the smoking does not make any sense. Big business fought that battle for a long time with scientist on there side and once they lost that battle, they moved on to Nicorette.

      Delilah, your ignorance is frightening, I am starting to suspect that Merck might be bankrolling you. No the “science isn’t in” and there are hundreds of scientist worldwide that would tell you that. But they must all be crazy because it doesn’t fit your agenda. The people that are declaring that the science is settled are the same people who refuse to look at who is funding the studies. Any study that has financial interest linked to an outcome of a study is junk. Science is not longer science when anyone can buy the “consensus”.
      Selective information? Any response to the above quote from The US National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes? How about some more selective information? The following quote is from the actual Merck insert in their MMR vaccine:

      “M-M-R II has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential, or potential to impair fertility.”

      Carcinogenic definition – any substance or agent that tends to produce a cancer.

      Now feel free to inject your kids with that, but some of us will pass.

      As for your Snopes link….so now you don’t believe Dr Thompson’s own words? The only reason he even came forward was because the phone conversation he was having with Dr Hooker was being recorded.. Well congressman Bill Posey’s office has hundreds of documents that were turned over by Dr Thompson, so when they do end up having a congressional hearing on this matter, people will see how corrupt the CDC is…..that’s if you bother researching it because mainstream media will not mention it.

      The people that question vaccines want people to research and educate their selves. People that don’t question vaccines don’t want you to do your own research, they just want you to blindly follow them. And that is a big red flag.

  11. All dialogues on this subject (or lack thereof) are so disheartening.
    Ultimately everyone wants what is best for their children and communities.
    Yet I don’t understand why the debate is reduced to such polarizing extremes.

    After much research, we have opted to vaccinate our children, yet the medical establishment is such a flawed entity, and vaccination does come with risks to susceptible populations. We have calculated that the benefits outweigh the risks, but not everyone has this luxury. A small percentage of children are susceptible to side effects and long-term immunological and neurological complications–yet this is all the more reason to vaccinate, albeit cautiously.

    I am shocked at how dismissive people are towards those who question the medical/governmental/pharmaceutical establishments. In our society, corporate profit is a driving force in policymaking. Misinformation abounds from all media outlets; mainstream, alternative, etc.

    Journal papers are constantly scrutinized, reviewed, proven, disproven, reformulated, etc…

    Whether or not there is consensus in the scientific community, a policy based on statistics has been formulated that caters to a majority of a childhood population. Environmental exposure (to pollution, chemicals, viruses) has been proven to trigger conditions in a minority of individuals with genetic predisposition.

    If these issues cannot be discussed in a civilized manner, extremist, polarizing views will continue to dominate both sides of the debate.

    The pro vaccination stance is basically you’re stupid and anti-science if you don’t vaccinate! If people wish to convince others that vaccination is the right choice, then please elevate your standards and come from a place of respect, empathy, nuance, and scientific inquiry.

    I would argue that the act of questioning is more pro-science than passive acquiescence of mainstream standards that marginalize skeptics as lunatics.

  12. SLPapa, I’ll make it simple for you point by point:
    1. No one said anything about hundreds of scientist advocating against vaccination. That’s what you crazy “pro-vaccine” people don’t understand. Hundreds of scientist question vaccines and have scientific evidence that they are not safe and that they lead to a slue of health problems. Most of these scientists don’t say anything about vaccinating or not vaccinating. They are just presenting the science. As for Wakefield, I refuse to have this discussion with people like you who are so irrational that they blinded by their irrationality.

    2. Pharmaceutical companies pay for most of the studies not just some. And yes others do some like universities that get grants from pharmaceuticals. “Drug researchers not directly employed by pharmaceutical companies often look to companies for grants, and companies often look to researchers for studies that will make their products look favorable. Sponsored researchers are rewarded by drug companies, for example with support for their conference/symposium costs. Lecture scripts and even journal articles presented by academic researchers may actually be “ghost-written” by pharmaceutical companies.”[83] (Wikipedia)

    3. Now this response takes the cake, yes anyone with any brain cells know that aluminum occurs naturally. Lead also occurs naturally but that does not mean you want to inject it.
    Here is a conclusion of a published research paper on aluminum.

    “MMF lesions are usually detected in the deltoid muscle of patients with diffuse myalgia appearing subsequently to aluminum hydroxide-containing vaccine administration.” (Macrophagic myofasciitis lesions assess long- term persistence of vaccine-derived aluminum hydroxide in muscle Brain (2001), 124,1821-1831)

    “The FDA recently did a study” You mean the government agency with a revolving door with the pharmaceutical company? Oh yeah no conflict of interest there.

    I am not even going to comment on your last paragraph because it’s so childish.

    Now moving on to ese-ese:
    In the comment you made, “the study you referenced was conducted by a couple of Ophthalmologists” you are being misleading. The scientist who headed the study is a leading neurobiologist with a Ph.D. in Neurobiology, whose research on aluminum in brain tissues is pertinent to any discussion of vaccines containing aluminum. Here is the bio of Dr. Christopher A. Shaw:

    “I am currently the principal investigator and Professor of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, at UBC. I hold associate member status in Experimental Medicine and the Graduate Program in Neuroscience and am a non-resident member of Green College.
    I began my post-secondary education in California with a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of California Irvine. I continued my education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a M.Sc. in Medical Physiology and a Ph.D. in Neurobiology. I then spent eight years at Dalhousie University (Psychology), first as a post-doctoral fellow, and then as a research associate, before beginning my affiliation with UBC in 1988.
    My research over the years has focused on two key areas: neuroplasticity and neuropathology. When I first arrived at UBC, most of my work was directed toward an understanding of the mechanisms underlying receptor regulation. This work resulted in numerous journal articles and reviews. The outcome of these studies laid the groundwork for a re-evaluation of current theories of neuroplasticity phenomenon such as long-term potentiation, and for the role that abnormal receptor regulation may play in some neurodegenerative disorders.
    An ongoing research focus of my laboratory is on ALS-parkinsonism dementia complex. Most of our past and current studies target various facets of this neurodegenerative disease through our mouse model using identified neurotoxins (various phtyosteryl glucosides and aluminum). Our more recent work has begun to look at aluminum toxicity from vaccine adjuvants and the impact on the developing and mature nervous system.”

    And if you care to look at all his accomplishments, you can go to this website. It also lists who paid for the research. You will see how again how you keep twisting the truth.

    Also, no one said, that there was aluminum adjuvants in the MMR vaccine. And yes aluminum has been used in vaccines for over 70 years but again, that does not mean it’s safe. Smoking begun as early as 5000-3000 BC, and we know how that turned out. Furthermore, there are a greater number of vaccines administered to children now than ever before. So, again your argument is very poor.

    No one is disputing that measles kills a certain number of children. A lot of things can kill you if you have a compromised immune system from eating junk and not having a healthy lifestyle (or just having a compromised immune system for other medical reasons). But if you are a healthy person, the likelihood of measles killing you is very slim. I had the measles when I was young, and I am not fearful of my 4 year old catching it because I know that she has a strong immune system. So you take your chances with the vaccine but because of all the research I have done linking vaccines to health problems, I will take my chances without the vaccine.

    Which brings me to EPMom, I just want to say thank you for your post and I completely agree with you. We all want what’s best for our kids. I have spent 5 years researching this topic and have come to an educated decision not to vaccinate my children for religious, philosophical and scientific reasons. It seem that you have also made an educated decision. Even though your decision is different than mine, I respect that you have made the right choice for your family based on your knowledge. When people ask me, I always say, there is a risk if you vaccinate and there is a risk if you don’t. You just have to research and educate yourself and make the right choice based on that information. I welcome a discussion with a rational person like your self, but don’t care to take up any more of my time responding to people that are not seeking the truth.

    Majorities are never a proof of the truth. – Dr. Walter R. Hadwen (1854-1932), 1896

  13. The problem with the vaccination “debate” if you can call it that, is that it unravels very quickly into a shouting match. Both Delilah and RA have their views but does there need to be so much disrespect? I’m pro-vaccine but that’s my choice. I have a different schedule than most because my kid had an accident and we can’t overload his system but the medical exemption doesn’t apply to us so we HAVE TO use a personal belief exemption. But guess what, I don’t want to share my story with everyone so schools that won’t take a pbe exclude me which is sad. I believe in herd immunity and my child will be vaccinated, they just have a different schedule because of what’s happened and it’s unfortunate that some of you would refuse a play date based on this especially if you kid is already immunized and safe. Oh and guess what, if you’re kid was immunocompromised, I wouldn’t be stupid enough to come over.

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