Get the shots
During this year’s dramatic surge in measles, much of the attention has been on parents who invoke religious or philosophical exemptions to keep their children from being vaccinated.
Just as big a contributor, though, to the uptick in measles, mumps and other preventable diseases may be schools not stringently applying their state immunization laws.
According to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 27 states that provided the data, 60,000 kindergartners were allowed to enroll last school year without having all of their legally required shots or a waiver. That’s close to the number — 70,000 — who invoked exemptions.
Although health officials believe that the 60,000 non-compliant kindergartners ultimately got all their vaccinations, no one knows for sure whether they did. It’s not required to be tracked, and officials in several states say there is no system in place in their schools to follow up with the families, according to an Associated Press report.
The schools should get tougher.
Unvaccinated kids put others at risk. Their parents should be told to keep them at home until they have their shots.