Nationally, Colorado brings up the rear when it comes to immunizing our kids against measles and other infectious diseases. It’s nothing short of a train wreck.
Although some children can’t be immunized because of underlying medical problems, or because of religious beliefs—the largest percentage of “opt-out” is the group of parents who sign off on a “personal exemption,” meaning they mistakenly believe immunizations are dangerous or they just aren’t important.
That attitude places a lot of others at risk. It believed that 95 percent of people need to be immunized in order to provide herd protection — meaning enough of a group is immunized, so a disease can’t gain a foothold and infect those who cannot be immunized because of age or other medical conditions. Some experts think that 90 percent immunization of a group may be enough, but that’s questionable.
So as a state, we stink at immunizing our children. But saying “our state” is painting with a very broad brush.
Wouldn’t you like to know which schools have the worst immunization rates in Colorado? It is possible to find out.
As of July 1, 2014, it became state law that each school needed to track and report immunization compliance and immunization exemptions. The “compliance” means kids have been immunized or have brought in proper paperwork saying they are opting out of vaccines.
The more important number is a school’s exception rate. How many kids are walking around without immunizations? In the same classroom as your kid?
The group Chalkbeat Colorado has compiled an interactive list which allows you to check out your kid’s school. The database covers about 75 percent of the state, and I’ve listed only Front Range school districts — but you can look up most of the others — and once again — you can look at your child’s individual school.
Remember, each district has a different number of schools, but you can find out your child’s school rates by pasting the the link at the end of this page.
Here we go:
Adam’s County Five Star– 4 schools are below 95% rate . Only 4 others are less than 90%
Adams 50- 2 are below 95% rate. Only 2 others are less than 90%.
Aurora- All are at 95% or above. This is excellent. An A+
Boulder Valley– 25 are below 95% 38 others are below 90%
Brighton– 12 are below 95% 1 other is below 90%
Cherry Creek– 12 are below 95% 1 is below 90%
Denver– 20 are below 95% 5 others below 90%
Douglas County– 43 are below 95% 7 others below 90%
Jeffco– 54 are below 95% 12 others below 90%
Once again, remember some of these school districts are much bigger than others — but the percentages will give you a good idea of how your local community feels about immunizations. The 95 percent is important, but the schools that dip below 90 percent immunization rates are simply playing with children and fire.
Give the database a spin here.