SEATTLE - Now that the school year is well underway, parents might be wondering how many of their kids' classmates have been vaccinated.
Public Health – Seattle and King Co. has interactive maps which allow parents to explore vaccine rates in various schools, most of which hover around 85 percent, though the numbers can vary greatly. Health departments across the country have been aiming for 95 percent immunization rates in schools.
In Washington, parents can refuse required immunizations for religious or philosophical reasons.
“It’s sort of our social responsibility to make sure that those of us who can be vaccinated are, to protect those who cannot be vaccinated,” said Libby Page, immunization program manager for Public Health – Seattle and King County.
Pertussis (whooping cough) immunizations are a priority for King County. In 2012, the Washington State Secretary of Health declared a pertussis epidemic after thousands were sickened.
Washington now has a free online tool available for families to track their required immunizations.
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