More Oklahoma parents seeking child immunization exemptions

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The Oklahoma Department of Health says an increasing number of parents in the state are seeking exemptions from immunizations for their school-age children.

A survey of kindergarten students last year found that the exemption rate increased by three-tenths of 1 percent from the previous year.

The state’s overall exemption rate is 2.2 percent, equal to the national median rate.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 90 percent of children enter Oklahoma public schools with up-to-date vaccinations although the rate for private schools is below 85 percent.

The rate for children with measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations is 92.6 percent, below the national average of 94.3 percent.

Oklahoma’s State Epidemiologist, Dr. Kristy Bradley, says there’s a risk of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks unless children entering school are immunized.

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