Thursday, February 5, 2015

Where the unvaccinated are: Northwest, Central Arkansas

Posted By on Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 1:17 PM

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While we're on the subject of vaccination (see earlier post), Kerry Krell of the Arkansas Department of Health has provided a county-by-county breakdown on where children who've received exemptions from immunizations live. 

Arkansas is one of only 19 states that allow exemptions to immunization requirements because of "philosphical reasons" (A.C.A. § 6-18-702). (The others are Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.)

Benton County schools have the highest number of children — 863 — who have foregone one or more required immunizations. Washington County is next, with 585; Pulaski County is third, with 234; and Faulkner is fourth, with 218. 

Here's  the full county-by-county list. 

The Economist examines the politicization of vaccination, hot right now in the U.S., and how media coverage could suggest that there is actually anything to debate when it comes to the importance of vaccinating children against terrible, sometimes deadly diseases:

When scientific disputes are politicised, the truth suffers. For example, in 2002 the Sunday Times ran the headline, “The government has mounted campaigns to persuade parents the MMR jab is safe after some research linked it to autism and bowel disorders in children”, which invites casual readers to question whether they trust the government more than the researchers. Similarly, American headlines now say "Vaccination debate intensifies as measles outbreak spreads", which can be read to mean that there is a legitimate debate about the safety of measles vaccinations.

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