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Health

CDC: Ohio Kindergartners Vaccinated Below National Rates

Ohio kindergarten vaccination rates from the 2018-2019 school year are less than the national average, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 91 percent of Ohio kindergartners received the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella; and the DTap, which protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis; and the varicella vaccine. This is lower than national averages for these vaccinations, which are all at about 94 percent.

About 3 percent of Ohio kindergartners have a vaccination exemption on file, a figure which has increased slightly from last year. Ohio state law allows for vaccination exemption in the event a parent or guardian objects to immunization “for good cause, including religious convictions.”

Ohio also has the highest rate among all states of kids who are “under-vaccinated,” meaning they just aren’t getting the shots, for whatever reason. Almost 7 percent of Ohio kindergarteners fall into this category.

The CDC urges local public health officials to focus on getting these kids up to speed on their vaccinations because it would boost the state’s overall vaccination rates into the target range of 95 percent or more.

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