The data revealed that there are now 134 schools in the state where the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination rate for kindergarten students falls below the federally-recommended guideline of 95%.
The data also shows that there’s a 31.1% increase in the number of schools that fell below that guideline and a total of 47 schools that were below the threshold in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years.
Additionally, the overall statewide number of religious exemptions to vaccination increased by 25% between the two school years.
“While it is good that state-wide in Connecticut we are still meeting the federally recommended MMR vaccination rate of 95% for kindergarteners, I am very concerned that the number of schools falling short of this important immunization level continues to rise.The data reveal that a sharp rise in the number of religious exemptions is causing declining immunization rates. This unnecessarily puts our children at risk for contracting measles and other vaccine preventable diseases. To address this unnecessary risk, I have recommended to Governor Lamont and legislative leadership that non-medical exemptions to vaccination be repealed. This will help ensure that all children in our state can learn in a healthy environment.”DPH Commissioner Coleman-Mitchell
This year so far 1,250 cases of measles have been confirmed across 31 states, including 3 in Connecticut.
Brain Festa said he wishes officials would keep the school vaccination numbers private, adding that he doesn’t want to see the religious exemption go away.
“None of these outbreaks were at schools and they were all in adults, so how does removing the religious exemptions in schools prevent further outbreaks?” he said. “We haven’t had any outbreaks in schools.”
Click here to view the school immunization survey data released.
Click here to view the full list of schools in the state and their percentage of exempt students.