Daniela Mejia, a mother, explains why her daughter is one of thousands of young children in San Diego County who aren’t up to date on their vaccinations. Credit: Katie Schoolov, KPBS

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When Daniela Mejia’s daughter Julieta was born, the first-time mother was wary of vaccines.

“I wouldn’t want to have my daughter suffer from any side effects of such a sudden invasion of infectious disease that was just given to her, you know?,” Mejia said. “I’d like her to be exposed slowly to bacterias and viruses and just naturally.”

Because of her mother’s concerns, Julieta, now almost four, is one of thousands of young children in San Diego County who aren’t up to date on their vaccinations.

More than 3,300 kindergarteners — in both public and private schools — began the 2014-2015 school year lacking one or more recommended vaccinations against diseases such as measles, polio and whooping cough, according to an inewsource analysis of data from the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Education.

That’s nearly 8 percent of the county’s kindergarten population.

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