Although it started on the political fringes — including both left- and right-wingers — the anti-vaccination movement has become a national issue following the recent measles outbreak that fortunately has yet to find its way into the Bayou State.
Yet, according to this report from USA Today and The Daily Advertiser, Louisiana is among a handful of states, 17 to be exact, with a preschool mumps, measles and rubella vaccination rate below 90 percent. In Louisiana, we have an 88 percent preschool vaccination rate, which is below the percentage needed for what medical experts call “herd immunity” — when over 90 percent of a community are vaccinated, and in essence can even offer protection to those who aren’t.
Fortunately, for us in Lafayette Parish, the vaccination rate is at 94.3 percent, according to the Advertiser.
Though the Lafayette Parish School System does not track the reasons some students aren’t vaccinated, Bradley Cruice, LPSS' director of health and wellness, tells the Advertiser:
It might be that a child is late, by age, getting the vaccine. They may have a medical condition that prevented them from receiving it. Or the parents may choose not to do it. It could be one of many reasons.
Cruice also says he has yet to hear of any Lafayette Parish parents refusing immunizations for their child.
So for now we’re safe, but, considering President Barack Obama recently came out as pro-vaccine, that all could quickly change.