New Tool Allows Parents to Check Measles Vaccination Rates at Local Schools

Some reassuring data alongside alarming statistics

Measles vaccine
A nurse prepares a measles vaccine.
DFID - UK Department for International Development/Creative Commons

Earlier this year, an alarming fact came to light: the United States is going through one of its worst outbreaks of measles in decades. An article in The New York Times noted that measles was believed to have been vanquished from the country in 2000, but as of earlier this year, there were over 700 cases on record. There was a reason for that, as the Times article noted: “More than 500 of the 704 cases recorded as of last Friday were in people who had not been vaccinated, the C.D.C. reported.”

For parents concerned about their children’s exposure to measles, there’s now a useful tool that can help provide some guidance as to local schools’ vaccination rates. The Wall Street Journal has collected an abundance of data on vaccination rates and created an interactive map, offering school-by-school data where it’s available. In instances where it isn’t, county-wide data is there to be perused.

In the broader view, much of the data collected here serves as grounds for optimism — with a few very concerning exceptions to the rule.

Most schools have relatively high MMR vaccination rates of 90% or above. But many schools have rates in the 70% to 80% range, and some small, private schools have rates hovering around 50%.

The 5 states with the largest number of elementary schools with under 95% of their students vaccinated for measles? Arkansas topped the list, followed by Washington, Ohio, Minnesota and Maine.

For concerned parents, this interactive map offers plenty of data to ponder — and, hopefully, a way to keep more kids healthy and free from measles.

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