A Tiburon, Calif., father has asked officials at his son's school to tell unvaccinated kids to stay home until the measles outbreak in the west is contained.
Seven percent of the student body at Rhett Krawitt's school, Reed Elementary, have opted out of routine immunizations required by law. Rhett's father, Carl, said those students are a threat to his 6-year-old, who has undergone numerous rounds of chemotherapy in the past four and a half years in a battle against leukemia.
The Krawitt family lives in an area of the San Francisco Bay Area that has the highest rate of vaccine opt-outs in the state of California. A recent measles outbreak has been linked to Disneyland in the southern part of the state and spread to five states.
Krawitt told NPR news that Rhett's school accommodated the family, ensuring that all the students in the first-grader's class were immunized. But as the number of cases rises, he and his wife, Jodi, have asked the superintendent to require immunization as a condition of attendance.
Another California school recently told unvaccinated kids to stay home for almost a month after it was confirmed that one of its students had contracted the preventable illness. The Krawitt's don't think they can take that risk.
"It's very emotional for me," he told NPR. "If you choose not to immunize your own child and your own child dies because they get measles, OK, that's your responsibility, that's your choice. But if your child gets sick and gets my child sick and my child dies, then ... your action has harmed my child."
Officials at California State University in Long Beach sent a notice out to students and faculty today that one of the school's students has just recovered from the measles, which had been contracted winter break. That student had taken part in a trip with 20 other students. CSULB has two on-campus early childhood development centers, where students too young to have received the full MMR rounds attend.