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Religious exemptions for vaccinations increase while immunization rates decrease for students in Connecticut

Connecticut

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(WTNH) — The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) reported new data for immunization rates across the state for students in schools in the 2018-2019 school year.

Findings include:

  • The rate of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) immunization declined 0.6%; from 96.5% in 2017-2018 to 95.9% for 2018-2019
  • The number of religious exemptions to vaccinations increased by 25%, marking it the largest single year increase in this type of exemption since the DPH began tracking statewide data a year ago

“Connecticut overall is meeting the guideline recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that at least 95% of kindergarteners receive the MMR vaccine required for school attendance. It does raise concern, however, that this number declined in the 2018-2019 school year while religious exemptions for vaccine-preventable diseases overall have increased. If parents have any questions about vaccinating their children, they should discuss them with their child’s primary care physician. We want to make sure every school in Connecticut has a high enough percentage of immunized children to prevent a vaccine-preventable disease such as measles from spreading in a school environment.”

– Commissioner Renee D. Coleman-Mitchell

Town-by-town data will be released in October after verification for accuracy.

“The decline in vaccination rates and the increase in the number of religious exemptions validates the need to release immunization rates by county and by school for the 2018-2019 school year by October 21, 2019.”,

– Commissioner Renee D. Coleman-Mitchell

Information about vaccinations is available on the Connecticut State Department of Public Health website here.

Anyone with questions regarding the Connecticut Vaccine Program can call 860-509-7929 or send an email to dph.immunizations@ct.gov.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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