SFUSD gets tough on measles vaccinations

Byby Tiffany Wilson KGO logo
Saturday, February 7, 2015
SFUSD gets tough on measles vaccinations
San Francisco Unified School District issues a tough return to school policy for children who get the measles.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In light of the recent measles outbreak and the new cases in Marin, San Francisco Unified School District is updating its policy.

It's a lightning rod issue.

"I don't think that we should mandate vaccinations ever," said naturopathic doctor Amy Kelchner.

"It almost feels like criminal negligence when parents don't vaccinate their kids," said parent David Earl.

It's now hitting close to home for San Francisco Unified School District parents.

If you do not have proof of immunizations on file and there is a case of measles at your child's school, your child will have to stay home from school for up to three weeks.

To be clear, there are no reported cases of measles in San Francisco County. This is a preemptive policy the school district hopes it won't have to enforce.

"What we're trying to do is let parents know what the repercussions would be if there were a case of measles at their child's school," said Gentle Blythe, San Francisco Unified School District spokesperson.

"That would be extremely hard to deal with, 21 days of staying home," said parent Adil Elmakhzoemi.

District spokeswoman Gentle Blythe says a copy of this letter urging parents to vaccinate their children will also be sent out.

If health care access is the hurdle, Blythe says the Department of Public Health has donated measles vaccinations to the school district.

"We'll be offering them at our school sites with parent permission," said ??

Dr. Kelchner helps parents file personal belief exemptions.

"Every child getting vaccinated will put some children at risk of auto immune disease, allergies," said Kelchner.

Despite her reservations about vaccinations, she agrees with San Francisco Unified School District's new policy.

VIDEO: Why measles is so contagious

For full coverage on the measles outbreak, click here.