Find Out How Many Students at Your Local School Are Not Vaccinat - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Find Out How Many Students at Your Local School Are Not Vaccinated for Measles

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TRI-CITIES, WA. -- Measles outbreak has sickened more than 100 people in several states including Oregon and Washington. The outbreak comes years after scientists thought they beat the disease with an effective vaccine.


Using an interactive table on the Seattle Times website, we discovered that Richland Schools have the highest rate of students that are not vaccinated for measles. At Richland High School alone there are over 100 students unvaccinated.


Next is Kennewick where at some of their schools, nearly 7% of the school populations are unvaccinated. Then there's Yakima where the top rate is 5%. And finally the Pasco School District which has a low rate for unvaccinated children. 


It's a disease that experts say is one of the most contagious. Measles has made a resurgence and not every student in our area is vaccinated for it


A couple Richland area schools have the highest rate of vaccination exemptions. Jason Lee Elementary leads the way with 8% unvaccinated. Tapteal Elementary in West Richland is at 6.4%.


In Kennewick, 6.8% of Canyon View students don't have the measles vaccination and 6.7% of Southgate students are exempt.


We talked to one Canyon View Elementary parent who finds the number worrisome. 


"It's a little scary," Brittney Roske said. "I mean I know that there's a lot of research out there saying that things can happen from these vaccinations but I think there's enough evidence to support that the benefits outweigh the risks."


Mary Jo Wilkins is a school nurse for Kennewick High School and Southgate Elementary. She recommends every student get vaccinated. 


"My personal philosophy based on the research is that the vaccinations are safe," Wilkins said. "They don't cause serious secondary illnesses and that's the only way to prevent these diseases from your family."


In fact, while we were there, Mary Jo was checking every student's records to make sure they were up on their shots. It's something Mary Jo does often. 


"I spend an awful lot of time observing immunizations," Wilkins said. "I would say probably a quarter of my job is spent monitoring them."


And while vaccination laws in Washington are considered more liberal than other states. A bill proposed Wednesday in the state legislature would make it more difficult for parents to opt out of the measles vaccine. 


If you want to take a look at exactly how many students at your son or daughter's school are unvaccinated for measles click on this link: http://blogs.seattletimes.com/fyi-guy/2015/02/04/explore-this-vaccine-exemption-rates-for-every-Washington-school/




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