Wired reported on Wednesday that vaccination rates for Silicon Valley companies are too low to provide herd immunity for children in their daycare facilities, but Google is arguing that the statistics cited are misleading.
According to Wired, data from the California Department of Public Health shows that just 49 percent of children in one facility have received all of their vaccinations, while 68 percent have gotten their shot for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). A separate facility in Santa Clara County, where the company is based, reported that 88 percent of children had all of their vaccinations, and a 95.6 MMR vaccine rate.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has identified a 92 percent vaccination rate as the minimum for achieving herd immunity. Earlier this month, two state lawmakers introduced a bill that would bar parents from using personal beliefs as a reason for not vaccinating their children.
But a company spokesperson responded that, during the 2013-2014 school year, those facilities met the threshold, with respective immunization rates of 98 percent and 81 percent.
“The reported numbers for the current year are lower simply because many parents have not yet provided updated immunization records,” Google’s spokesperson told Wired. “We’ve asked them all to do this, so we can update the figures.”
Overall, Wired reported, six of 12 facilities connected to tech companies in the region reported immunization rates below the CDC’s immunity standard.
“This data has limitations — most critically, it might not be current,” Joanna Perlman wrote. “But it also suggests an incursion of anti-science, anti-vaccine thinking in one of the smartest regions on Earth.”
Perlman reported that the lowest immunization rate belonged to a Berkeley facility connected to Pixar Animation Studios, where just 43 percent of children in its care had all of their immunizations. “Just over” 75 percent of attendees had their MMR vaccine up to date.
Other tech giants like Facebook, eBay and Apple, she wrote, are not affiliated with any specific facilities. Findings for Twitter’s in-house daycare service are not available.