Expert Says CDC Study Showing Washington 7th Highest Vaccine Opt-Out Rate Doesn’t Tell Entire Story

By Lisa Brooks

Washington recievd the 7th highest immunization drop-out rate in the country. But a study says that may be due, in part, to bad science. During the 2008-2009 school year, The Centers for Disease Control said Washington state kindergartners were the least vaccinated in the United States. At that time, the opt-out rate of at least one vaccine was 7.6 percent.

In the CDC’s latest report, the opt-out rate has decreased to 4.6 percent. But, Washington still has the 7th highest vaccination opt-out rate in the country.

Jeff Duchin is Chief of Epidemiology and Immunization at King County Public Health. He says some parents decide not to get their children vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella, for example, for reasons based on untrue science.

Jeffrey Duchin: “Concerns about autism, which has been completely and totally debunked, although the belief persists the vaccines are somehow related to autism—particularly the MMR vaccine, study after study has debunked that.

And, he says says the Health Department is working to target the areas with the highest vaccine opt-out rates and clear up the misinformation.

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