Did You Know?
Oregon has one of the highest percentage of children, kindergarten through 12th grade, who have been exempted from receiving at least one vaccine, and Josephine County has the highest rate of exemptions in the state.
The non-medical exemption rate for kindergartners in Oregon increased from 5.8% in 2015 to 7.5% in 2018, making it the highest in the U.S. Other states with high exemption rates include Idaho at 7.1% and Alaska at 7.0%.
The Josephine County exemption rate of 11% in 2019 is much higher than the state average.
We currently have the lowest vaccination rate in the state.
Now some people may say it is no big deal; there are still enough kids immunized to keep a vaccine preventable disease at bay. However, remember that some children who are immunized will not develop immunity. That means our community immunity is even less than the numbers tell us. Moreover, what the numbers tell us is not good.
The graph below shows Oregon vaccine statistics and how statewide exemption rates have increased over the last two decades.
What does all this tell us? It means that as a community we are not protected against many vaccine preventable diseases.
To achieve herd immunity for most common communicable diseases, around 93% immunity is needed. As you can see below, none of our schools has that level of coverage.
To protect our children against a measles outbreak, 93-95% coverage is needed. Measles is one of the most contagious diseases on earth and has a significant risk of long-term disability or even death for those that become sick.
Of significant concern for health care professionals in our community is the high rate of unvaccinated children younger than school age. As these children move into school, if their vaccination rates are not increased, it will decrease our herd immunity coverage even more, in addition to putting their own health and wellbeing at risk.
View vaccination rates for Three Rivers School District.
View vaccination rates for every school throughout Oregon.