Childhood immunization rates: A couple of followups

On Thursday, we wrote about Idaho’s latest troubling vaccination trends: declining childhood immunization rates, and increasing opt-outs.

A couple of followups:

Measles vaccinations. Last school year, only 80.7% of kindergartners had two doses of the “MMR” vaccine, Sarah Leeds, manager of the Idaho Immunization Program, said in an email Friday.

The MMR vaccine covers measles, mumps and rubella — and Health and Welfare is tracking the state’s largest measles outbreak in two decades.

The MMR immunization was higher than the overall kindergarten rate, which takes in other recommended vaccinations. The overall immunization rate came in at 77.6%.

Regional breakdowns? Normally, Health and Welfare also provides copious details of the immunization rate — with numbers by county and health district, and even by school.

The breakdowns from last school year aren’t ready yet. (We’ll follow up when the numbers are available.)

In past school years, vaccination rates have tended to run lowest in North Idaho, and in rural pockets of Central Idaho. Those trends are likely to continue when the new numbers come out, Leeds said in a recent interview.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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