MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2018

Washington's low vaccine rate leaves toddlers vulnerable

Washington vaccine rates leave toddlers vulnerable
Washington vaccine rates leave toddlers vulnerable | Courtesy of

The latest immunization rates from Washington show that many toddlers haven’t received their vaccinations on time or at all, leaving them vulnerable to measles, whooping cough and similar preventable diseases.

The rates, which were part of the National Immunization Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), show that children ages 19 to 35 months old have not received any more additional protection for severe, potentially deadline diseases compared to the year before.

“The data show that we’re not protecting all of our kids as well as we should,” State Health Officer Kathy Lofy said. “We’re disappointed that our rates aren’t higher. When kids aren’t fully protected, it puts those kids and the wider community at risk of disease. The recent spike in measles cases and the ongoing whooping cough outbreak highlights the need for high vaccination rates.”

In 2014, approximately 67 percent of toddlers received all of their vaccinations by the time they were 3 years old. This is approximately 3 percent lower than the rates from 2013, but statistics show that the two are not significantly different.

“When communities have less than 90 percent of people vaccinated, it is easier for highly contagious diseases like measles to spread quickly,” Lofy said. “We’re seeing that some parents are selecting certain vaccines for their kids but not others. Parents should understand that there are risks involved when their children are not completely vaccinated on time.”