Ed Pilkington at The Guardian:
A new study by Health Testing Centers has found between 2009 and 2018 27 of the 50 US states experienced a drop in the percentage of vaccinated kindergarten-age children. In Georgia and Arkansas, the decline was more than 6%.
The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR), which is the focus of much activity by the so-called anti-vaxxer movement, is especially vulnerable. Alarmingly, the study finds that more than half of the states – 26 in total – have vaccination rates that have fallen below the target of 95% which experts state is needed to provide maximum protection against the diseases.
Three states – Colorado (88.7%), Kansas (89.1%) and Idaho (89.5%) – have rates that have fallen below the 90% that scientists say renders populations particularly vulnerable to a measles outbreak.
The study is based on data compiled by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The authors analyzed CDC data covering the vaccination rates for kindergartners for the most common vaccines including MMR, polio, hepatitis B and varicella.
The news comes at a time of renewed attention on the activities of anti-vaxxer campaigners who are vociferously opposed to the mandatory vaccination of children. Opponents of vaccines frequently peddle incorrect information, such as the debunked theory that MMR causes autism.