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For Immediate Release For More Information:

May 10, 2019 Av Harris av.harris@ct.gov


(860) 509-7270

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATES SCHOOL-


BASED IMMUNIZATION DATA FOR ALL PUBLIC AND
PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN CONNECTICUT
DATA REVIEW CONFIRMS MORE THAN 100 SCHOOLS HAVE MEASLES, MUMPS AND
RUBELLA VACCINATION RATES BELOW 95% FEDERAL GUIDELINE FOR
KINDERGARTEN
Hartford, CT – The Department of Public Health (DPH) today is releasing updated school-by-
school immunization rate data as a follow-up to the data release of Friday May 3, 2019 (Link:
https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Immunizations/School-Survey). To ensure the accuracy of the school
immunization data, DPH personnel have worked with school officials to identify and correct
reporting errors. As a result of this process, DPH has updated the kindergarten immunization rate
data for 11 schools in Connecticut and updated 7th grade data for five schools in the state.
Statewide, the kindergarten student immunization rate for measles mumps and rubella (MMR) is
96.5% – a number that factors in a 96.8% rate for public schools and a 91.6% rate for private
schools. The data show there are 102 schools in Connecticut where the kindergarten immunization
rate for the MMR vaccine is below the federal guideline of 95%.

“I am glad we had this opportunity to update the school-based immunization data we released last
week with slight corrections from a small number of schools,” said DPH Commissioner Renée
Coleman-Mitchell. “I appreciative the cooperation we have received from school officials across
the state as we all take a closer look at detailed, localized school immunization data for the first
time in Connecticut. I think we can clearly say at this point that although our overall percentage
of young children immunized for dangerous diseases such as measles is strong, there are some
pockets of vulnerability. Engaging in this healthy dialogue and raising awareness of vaccinations
in the context of a major national measles outbreak are exactly why we felt compelled to release
the data.”

To derive the immunization data, schools report to DPH the total number of kindergarten and 7th
grade students in each grade, and then report the total number of those students to either show
proof of vaccination, or claim an exemption from vaccination. In Connecticut, exemptions to
vaccination can either be for a medical reason as approved by a physician, or for religious reasons
as stated by a child’s parent or guardian. Schools also report to DPH the total number of
vaccination exemptions for the entire student population. Those numbers are written on paper
forms – often by school nurses –and then submitted to DPH.

According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles is extremely
contagious and can spread through the air so at least 95% of students need to be vaccinated to
prevent an outbreak. As of May 3, 2019, at least 764 measles cases have been confirmed nationally
in 23 states. This number of confirmed cases is an increase of 60 cases from the previous week
and now represents the greatest number of cases reported in the United States since measles was
declared eradicated from the USA in 2000.

Currently, parts of New York City and Rockland County in New York State are experiencing
active, major measles outbreaks impacting hundreds of families. In Connecticut this year, three
measles cases have been confirmed and so far, the state has been able to prevent a widespread
outbreak of the disease.

For more information about vaccine-preventable diseases, please visit:


https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Immunizations/VACCINE-PREVENTABLE-DISEASES

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