Idaho’s child immunization rates improved in 2015, reaching a five-year high.
And Department of Health and Welfare officials don’t know what to make of the numbers yet.
In 2015, 86.7 percent of Idaho students were considered “adequately immunized,” according to Health and Welfare spreadsheets obtained this week by Idaho Education News. The 2014 figure was 85.6 percent.
Boosting childhood immunization rates is a priority for public health officials, and not just in Idaho. Health officials say a robust vaccination rate doesn’t only protect children who are current on their shots. A higher vaccination rate protects children who aren’t current on their shots because it decreases the risk of an outbreak of disease — a concept known as “herd immunity.”
The new immunization rate still falls short of Idaho’s 90 percent goal. However, it represents the third successive increase in statewide rates.
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