Some school vaccinations in Vermont below national average

August 25, 2018

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Data from the Vermont Health Department shows several schools in Vermont have immunization rates below the national average.

The vaccination rate for Vermont students in kindergarten through 12th grade was 94 percent, according to a state report .

A few public schools, including Marlboro School and Shrewsbury Mountain School, had lower rates of around 80 percent, which is 15 points below the national average, the Burlington Free Press reported .

Private schools had lower rates than public schools, including Orchard Valley Waldorf School which had a rate of 48.8 percent with 82 students enrolled.

State law now prohibits philosophical exemption for opting out of vaccines, but it allows medical or religious exemptions.

Measles, a highly infectious virus, which is prevented by vaccinations, hasn’t been confirmed in Vermont since 2011. But state epidemiologist Patsy Kelso says it could easily crop up in Vermont if an unvaccinated person comes into contact with the disease while traveling abroad or an infected traveler visits the state.

“The virus is only a plane ride away,” she said this week.

Data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in July showed 107 confirmed cases of measles, which is nearly as many cases for the entire previous year. More than 41,000 people in Europe were infected in the first half of 2018, and 37 died, according to the World Health Organization. The number of cases is double the amount of the previous year. Health officials believe the jump in infections is related to lower vaccination numbers.

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