Governor calls unvaccinated school kids list “startling”

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For the first time ever, the Connecticut Department of Public Health released the school by school percentages of kids that have received either medical or religious exemptions from being vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella and some schools show numbers way above the Center for Disease Control recommendations.

The Redding Elementary School reported that over 4.7 or 22 of 469 students have exemptions. Prospect Elementary is over 25 percent. Milford Christian Academy over 20 percent and Haddam Elementary at 19.5 percent.

Governor Lamont said DPH was right to release the numbers and thinks the legislature should act on this adding, “I’m going to do everything I can to keep our people safe.” When asked if he thinks the legislature should move on some sort of revision with regard to the exemptions, the Governor responded;  “I do.”

Related: Dept. of Public Health releases immunization rates by school

House Majority Leader Rep. Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) who has pledged to have a vote in the Assembly within the next year on repealing religious exemptions said, “We have litterally dozens of schools that are not one point below, double digits below the C.D.C. recommended level of vacinations for measles.”
The State Epidemiologist said those schools need to take action.

Dr, Matt Cartter, the State Epidemiologist says this about the schools with the high numbers, “They need to have a plan in place, if a measles case occurs and everbody hs to be clear about what exactly will happen.” Cartter says that means the measles contact person must be identified, and kids that have not been vaccinated must be taken out of school and can be ordered by the local public health director to stay home for up to 21 days.

LeeAnn Ducat, who founded a group called “Informed Choice USA” said the release of this list is going
to cause hostility and harrassment adding, “Creating an environment where these schools, who host high numbers of unvaccinated children or exempt children, they’re going to have an unfavorable environment.”

Majority Leader Ritter says legislative leaders are expected to meet with the Governor early next week to decide what is the best course of action.

Web Extra: Full report of unvaccinated school kids in Connecticut

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