Kindergarten immunizations up in 2015-16

The Department of Health said that kindergarten immunization coverage for school year 2015 – 2016 increased by 2.2 percent over the previous school year.

The increase means that 85 percent of Washington state kindergartners had the required vaccines to start school.

“Immunization is one of the best ways to protect our children from diseases vaccines can prevent,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “We feel like we’re starting to turn a corner. A lot of people worked hard to make this happen, including school districts, local health departments, health care providers and parents.”

The agency noted that the measles outbreak in Washington last year probably helped raise awareness of the need to get all kids immunized.

This school year, 95 percent of all schools submitted immunization data, up 2 percentage points from last year.

Immunization exemptions remained the same at 4.5 percent. Students are granted exemptions from a vaccine for medical, personal, and religious reasons.

The number of kindergartners who were out-of-compliance was 8.6 percent, a 2.3 percentage point decrease from the previous school year.  Out-of-compliance means that a student is missing the required immunization paperwork.

Information about immunization requirements can be found at the department’s website. Washington state provides vaccines at no cost for all kids through its Childhood Vaccine Program.

For help finding a health care provider or an immunization clinic, contact your local health department or the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.



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