Monday, February 17, 2014

Picture of the Day: Vaccination Rates

Oy.  This is a puzzle to me, but perhaps not to public health folks out there who can shed light: Oregon is really bad in vaccination rates for kids as shown in this graphic by Mother Jones:

They look at how easy it is to get vaccination exemptions from the state, and Oregon is rated ion the middle.  So, is it our childhood poverty rate, a cultural artifact, poor public health infrastructure...what?

I await your insight.


Fred Thompson said...

This article is addressed primarily to those who explicitly resist vaccination. According Seth Mnookin, author of The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear, ironically vaccine resisters tend to be environmentally conscious parents, who closely attend to their kids' welfares. In 2008 Washington State enacted legislation requiring a physician's signature to opt out of the system and, subsequently, the number of resisters fell dramatically. Having observed the Washington results, Oregon enacted similar legislation last session, which went into effect this year.

Nevertheless, active resisters aren't really the biggest part of the problem. A January 2013 study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that in recent years 49 percent of toddlers hadn't had all their shots, but only about 2 percent had parents who refused vaccination. Parents' work schedules, transportation problems, insurance hiccups, cost were all bigger problems. It is a well known fact that children in poor communities are significantly more likely to miss shots than those in wealthier neighborhoods, a few trendy locations like Vashon Island being the exceptions.

GeoGeek said...

I gotta go with cultural artifact. I bet if you split California in half, you'd get a Northern California very similar to Oregon.

It was bad enough in Joshephine and Jackson Counties that the CDC targeted them out for special outreach efforts.

Why I don't think it's poverty-related is that the worst vaccination rate in California is very wealthy Marin County. The worst in Oregon is very wealthy Ashland.

If anything, I'd bet that vaccination rates are somewhat inversely correlated with income.