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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Idaho’s child immunization rates vary around the state, and in some areas are very low

Idaho’s child immunization rates vary greatly around the state, reports Idaho EdNews, but overall, 85.6 percent of the state’s kindergartners, first graders and seventh graders are adequately immunized. And when EdNews analyzed district-by-district figures, it found that some had reporting problems that caused their numbers to be lower than they should. In Post Falls, for example, the district reported a 52.5 percent immunization rate, but Superintendent Jerry Keane said the state’s immunization registry showed more than 90 percent of students are immunized. Still, some small districts are reporting immunization rates as low as 30 or 36 percent. The state Department of Health & Welfare’s goal is 90 percent immunization, in order to protect against outbreaks of contagious disease.

EdNews reports that Idaho’s immunization rates are among the lowest in the nation, and the state has the highest percentage of parents who have sought and received an exemption from immunization requirements, with 6.5 percent of Idaho kindergartners covered by a philosophical, medical or religious exemption. The full report is online here, including data on every Idaho school district.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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