Vaccination

Ethan Webber / Boise State Public Radio

On the Reporter Roundtable, Scott McIntosh of the Idaho Statesman, Rebecca Boone with the Associated Press, Heath Druzin of Boise State Public Radio and Guns & America talk about vaccination controversies, presidential candidate’s gun policies, and more. Be sure to listen in as Melissa Davlin hosts this week’s edition of the Reporter Roundtable.

Cynthia Goldsmith / AP Photo/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Starting Wednesday, the United States could lose its measles elimination status. What does that mean for the country and for Idaho?


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Parents whose kids are in public school can be exempted from having to vaccinate on religious or personal grounds. Exemption rates are on the rise across Idaho, up to an all-time high of 7.7%, according to the Idaho Division of Health.

 

Jim Goodson, M.P.H./Wikimedia

Measles outbreaks are popping up all over the country and they could have all been avoided with childhood vaccines. Idaho Matters looks at why this is happening with St. Luke's pediatrician Dr. Alicia Lachiondo.

This story was updated May 3, 2019 at 3:40 p.m.

Measles cases have reached a 19-year high in the U.S., but a bill in Colorado aimed at improving childhood vaccination rates didn’t succeed. It didn’t really fail, either. It just got mired in super-long hearings, pushback from the governor and, ultimately, a legislative schedule that ran out of time before the bill could reach the Senate.

“I’m still today trying to figure out exactly what happened,” says Rep. Kyle Mullica, who sponsored the bill.

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Public and private schools, as well as daycares across Idaho, may soon have to let parents know they can opt their kids out of getting vaccinated.

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measles outbreak in Eastern Washington highlights the importance of childhood immunizations. Idaho Matters looks at the threat to Western Idahoans and what people can do to protect themselves and their children from measles.

The flu epidemic was especially deadly last year. And our region was no exception. Tens of thousands of people are estimated to have died in the U.S. from the flu virus last season, including a record high of 180 children.  

Dmitry Naumov/iStockphoto/NPR

Eighteen states allow parents to refuse vaccinations for their children. Idaho is home to 8 of the 10 national "hotspots" of non-vaccinated kids. Idaho Matters looks at the reasons parents have for opting out of vaccinating their kids and the potential impact this has on the child and the community.

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A recent report indicated eight of the 10 least-immunized counties in the country are in Idaho.

Cancer centers are working to increase HPV vaccinations across the nation, but particularly in Mountain West states, where vaccination rates are low.

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A new report in the medical journal PLOS Medicine finds Idaho is home to nearly every county among the top 10 in states allowing non-medical exemptions for childhood immunizations.

Legislative moves to limit school immunization exemptions are drawing vocal opposition from some parents. Opponents of mandatory vaccination crowded a public hearing at the state capitol in Olympia Tuesday, and the scene could repeat itself in Salem Wednesday.

Kevin Richert / Idaho Education News

Mississippi has the nation’s highest kindergarten vaccination rate. Idaho’s rate is among the nation’s lowest.

What separates these two states — so often neighbors in national demographic rankings?

The answer can be found in the states’ laws. Mississippi essentially requires all parents to immunize their children before kindergarten. In Idaho, parents can use three different types of waivers to get out of immunizing their children. And Idaho schools have no recourse but to accept the paperwork and enroll these students.

Some Northwest lawmakers want to make it harder for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children.

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The Centers for Disease Control says a measles outbreak that spread from California's Disneyland has now reached 14 states and infected 102 people. No cases have been confirmed in Idaho, but many neighboring states are on the list including Utah, Washington and Oregon.

"We worry that it’s only a matter of time before we do see measles cases in Idaho," says Dr. Christine Hahn, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's medical director for the division of public health.

CDC Recommends Pertussis Vaccine For Expectant Moms

Oct 26, 2012
Health Vaccine
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Public health experts are now recommending that pregnant women get the vaccine for whooping cough during pregnancy. The recommendation is in response to the growing outbreak of the infection in the U.S. So far, there are more than 32,000 reported cases of whooping cough across the country. If the trend holds, it’s on track to be the highest number of cases since 1959.

Centers for Disease Control

The federal government’s top health officers are making an appeal to the Northwest’s medical community to boost vaccination rates. The deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control’s immunization branch spoke at a public health conference in Coeur d’Alene Friday as part of the national campaign.

Last year, Washington and Oregon immunization rates were among the lowest in the nation. Idaho’s was average. That’s according to a CDC survey.

There have been 21 reported cases of whooping cough in Idaho so far this year.  But in Washington State the number of whooping cough cases has reached epidemic levels. The disease is spreading so rapidly that health officials are urging adults and children to get vaccinated.

Washington Secretary of Health Mary Selecky announced today that as of last month, there have been 640 cases of whooping cough. That’s compared to 94 in the same period last year.