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When it comes to school vaccination rates, Whatcom students aren’t shaking this trend

What to expect when your child is vaccinated

Serious reactions are actually very rare but here are some things parents might expect after their child’s vaccine visit.
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Serious reactions are actually very rare but here are some things parents might expect after their child’s vaccine visit.

Once again, fewer Whatcom County kindergartners are fully immunized before starting school than their peers statewide, according to new data released on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Of the 84,771 kindergartners enrolled in public and private schools in the state as of November of last year, a total of 86.3% had all of the required immunizations, according to the Washington State Department of Health data.

That’s held steady for the past three years, according to the health department release.

Of the 2,217 kindergarten students in Whatcom County, 79.6% were fully immunized for school. That has been roughly consistent for the past three years as well.

For young students statewide, the Department of Health data also showed that:

5% had an exemption, meaning they entered kindergarten without one or more required vaccines. Exemptions are made for medical conditions, personal beliefs, religious beliefs or membership in certain religious groups.

7% were out of compliance, meaning they didn’t have all of their vaccinations up to date or were missing paperwork.

1.7% were conditional, meaning they were getting caught up on vaccinations or paperwork.

For young students in Whatcom County, the data showed that:

7.4% had an exemption. The biggest reason for that exemption was personal beliefs at 6.4%, compared to 4.2% statewide.

11% were out of compliance.

2.1% were conditional.

A new state law no longer allows parents to exempt their children from the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, also known as MMR, because of personal and philosophical beliefs.

The law went into effect July 28, 2019, and applies to children entering public and private schools as well as child cares.

Kie Relyea has been a reporter at The Bellingham Herald since 1997 and currently writes about social services and recreation in Whatcom County. She started her career in 1991 as a reporter and editor in Northern California.
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