Do you ensure that your children are properly vaccinated? Do you have friends or family members that either don’t vaccinate or that don’t place a priority on having their children vaccinated? I’ve been thinking about this the last few days based upon a post from my friend Damion.
The graphic he includes is disturbing to me because it shows a trend in California of those opposed to a bill going through the legislature that would prevent an opting out of vaccinations based on “philosophical” reasons. Upon viewing that graph, I decided to perform a small amount of research to see where other states were in their efforts to vaccinate and it wasn’t difficult.
I quickly found this article, from CNN, posted earlier this year that addresses the very topic. Accoding to the Centers for Diseaase Control, 95% of kindergartners have received vaccines for preventable diseases. That sounds good, right? Take a look at this chart included in the article:
It’s self explanatory but what’s really surprising are the states with the diagnol hashes through them. Note this indicates a less than 90% vaccination rate. Of course, you have to read the fine print on the lower right hand side to get an accurate idea of the data presented, but the data is still a little disturbing.
And just who are these people that are not vaccinating or under vaccinating? The poor and indigent? Nope. Look at this graphic as well:
Note the demographic on the right of the chart. Wealthier, white, married, educated, and even more, covered by private health insurance. The graphic on the left is also telling as to the reason why parents delay or refuse vaccines.
Going back to Figure 1, It struck me that my home state of Arizona had an unvaccinated/under vaccinated rate greater or equal to 4%. I wanted to see how many young children this affects. I found this site that contains demographic by age by state. Looking at the age breakdown of men and women, the total children in this state under 5 yrs of age is 455,017. Just a flat 4% rate of non or under vaccinated? 18,200 children. And we’re of course not the most populous state in the country.
What about your state? Click on your state and add up the number of under 5 year olds where you live. Then use the percentages in Figure 1. Any cause for concern?
I want to close with a line from Damion’s post which I believe is poignant:
Most disturbingly of all, “there is no offsetting pro-vaccine Twitter machine,” presumably because the scientific skeptic community is busy trolling itself.
Maybe it’s time to focus on matters that are more important.