vaccinations

This post was updated May 28, 2019 at 9:15 p.m. to include the leastest outbreak numbers and an additional infographic.

Measles have reached the highest numbers in 25 years, with more than 900 cases reported so far to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Mountain West is especially vulnerable. According to CDC data, too few kindergarteners in our region are fully vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella. One Colorado family took that to heart — and then things got personal.

This story was updated May 3, 2019 at 3:40 p.m.

Measles cases have reached a 19-year high in the U.S., but a bill in Colorado aimed at improving childhood vaccination rates didn’t succeed. It didn’t really fail, either. It just got mired in super-long hearings, pushback from the governor and, ultimately, a legislative schedule that ran out of time before the bill could reach the Senate.

“I’m still today trying to figure out exactly what happened,” says Rep. Kyle Mullica, who sponsored the bill.

Updated at 1:55 p.m., Feb. 26, 2019:

As a measles outbreak continues in Washington state, a congressional hearing Wednesday will discuss the preventable disease, now considered to be a “growing public health threat.”

Several states are considering legislation to encourage higher rates of childhood vaccines. The response in our region is mixed.

There's currently another measles outbreak, this time in the Pacific Northwest. In the Mountain West, states are below the national average for measles vaccination, which could also put us at risk.


Measles is making a comeback in the U.S. as more parents choose not to vaccinate their children. The childhood disease is a major killer in much of the developing world, but now the public health community is trying to re-educate families about the importance of childhood vaccinations. That includes a new program in Utah.

Cancer centers are working to increase HPV vaccinations across the nation, but particularly in Mountain West states, where vaccination rates are low.

National Public Health Information Coalition

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. For parents with kids headed off to school, that means it’s time to make sure they’re up to date on their vaccines.

 

Every school and childcare facility in Wyoming requires kids to have certain vaccines like tetanus and hepatitis B. Kim Deti with the Wyoming Department of Health said if children are not up to date they can be asked to stay home from school.

 

There is an increase in measles cases across the U-S and it has federal health officials worried. http://www.cdc.gov/measles/

They say measles is being transmitted by international travelers and is infecting those who do not have a measles vaccination.  Wyoming Department of Health spokesman Kim Deti said state officials are monitoring the situation.

“In Wyoming we haven’t had a case reported since 2010.  What seems to be different here than everywhere else?  Well, the real truth is…we’ve been lucky.”

Wyoming has seen an increase in the number of exemptions it grants for required vaccines in children aged 4, 5
and 6 over the last five years.  

In 2010, the state granted 168 exemptions, which represents about 2.2 percent of kindergartners that year.   In 2006, the state granted 54 exemptions at those ages, or about 0.8 percent of kindergartners.   In 2010, Wyoming added vaccinations for chickenpox and a booster shot against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough to the list of required shots for students.