State and local health officials are concerned some children who have not been immunized against childhood illnesses, such as mumps or rubella, could be at risk for serious illnesses.
The number of parents filing non-medical vaccine exemptions in the state — and Lane County — has been steadily climbing since 2000, said Paul Cieslak, Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations.
In 2000, about 1 percent of students entering kindergarten in Oregon had a non-medical exemption, Cieslak said. During the 2017-2018 school year that number was about 7 1/2 percent, an increase of about 1 1/2 percent from the year before.
Lane County has seen a similar increase in non-medical exemptions, said Lane County Senior Public Health Officer Dr. Patrick Luedtke. The number of Lane County students entering kindergarten in 2017 with an exemption increased to 7 percent, up 2 percent over the previous year.
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