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Immunization: CT families deserve to know their children are safe in school

Before the measles vaccination program started in 1963, 3 to 4 million people contracted measles each year in the US. Widespread use of the vaccine has led to a 99%+ reduction in measles cases. However, 2019 saw measles outbreaks in several states, including cases reported here in CT. Alongside this news, the CT State Department of Public Health has released school immunization data revealing that many schools have vaccination rates too low to prevent the spreading of proven preventable diseases. (You can download this one-pager here.)

The CDC say that when 95% of the population is vaccinated, it achieves “herd immunity”. That means the community is protecting vulnerable individuals who can’t be vaccinated, for age or compromised health reasons, against the spread of preventable disease.

Over 100 CT schools are failing to meet the minimum required vaccination levels. This is due to high rates of exemptions from the state’s school vaccination requirements.

CT is 1 of 23 states that have had reported cases of measles in 2019, according to the CDC.

● Since the 2012-2013 school year, the percentage of CT kindergarteners receiving all vaccinations has dropped 0.6 percentage points. The percentage of kindergarten students with religious exemptions has increased by the same amount, and the percentage of kindergarteners with a medical exemption has not changed.

Vaccine exemptions should be for medical reasons only. Every student has the right to a safe and healthy classroom.

About Education Reform Now CT

ERN CT is an organization that supports elected leaders who are champions of public education, providing policy expertise and advocacy. Together, we advance ideas and practices based on progressive values--with a goal of increasing equity, protecting civil rights and the social safety net, and promoting great educational opportunities for all--as part of realizing the American Dream.


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