Vaccination Rates Vary Widely by School, County
Many Oklahoma schools report required vaccination rates for kindergarteners at 95% or above, according to a 2017-18 survey. But some schools have rates well below 80% and rates of vaccination exemptions above 10% or even 20%. Find out the rates for your school and county.
Oklahoma requires kindergarteners to be immunized against 10 diseases unless parents choose an exemption on medical, religious or personal grounds.
In Oklahoma’s 2017-18 kindergarten immunization survey, an estimated 89.9% of kindergarteners with immunization records were up to date for all required vaccines. The rate of exemptions was 2.2%, matching the national median.
But there are individual schools and areas with relatively high exemption rates and low vaccination rates. This interactive allows you to find the 2017-18 rates for kindergarteners at each Oklahoma school that voluntarily reported data.
Schools With Highest Vaccination Rates
There are at least 778 public, private, and charter schools in Oklahoma with vaccination records on file. In 2017-18, 89% of public schools, and 42% of private schools, volunteered to report. Among public schools, over a third have immunization rates at or above 95%. About a third of private schools are at least 95% vaccinated. Oklahoma City Public Schools, the largest district in the state, has 20 of its 54 elementary schools within the the 95% and above range; Tulsa Public Schools has only 4 of its 50 elementary schools at or above 95%.
*CLICK HERE for Oklahoma Watch's interactive Vaccination Rates chart
387 schools lie within 80%-94.9%
387 schools lie within the 80-95% range. This leaves roughly 26,000 students below the national average of 95%. These schools comprise 54% of all students in the state including 55% of public school students, 46% of private school students, and 24% of charter school students.
94 schools lies below 80% and 6 below 50%
At least 49 schools below the 80% mark have zero exemptions.
Vaccination Rates by County
*CLICK HERE for Oklahoma Watch's Interactive Vaccination Rates by County Chart
[Editor's Note: Here is a portion of the chart, including the Vaccination Rates for Tulsa County]
Note: Oklahoma kindergarteners are required to be vaccinated for 10 diseases, unless they receive exemptions: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, polio, hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
To prevent the spread of diseases, health officials say certain percentages of immunity in a population should be achieved. Each disease has its own “herd immunity” rate – from 92% to 95% for measles, for example. The percentages below refer to kindergarteners who are up to date on all required vaccines – that is, for multiple diseases – so cannot be compared to a single disease’s “herd immunity” rate.
Oklahoma Watch is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that produces in-depth and investigative stories on important issues facing the state. For more Oklahoma Watch content, go to oklahomawatch.org.
This article was originally published here.