Health

NYC Private Schools Have Measles Vaccination Rates Lower Than World’s Poorest Nations

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Nine of New York City’s private schools have measles vaccination rates lower than any country in the world, according to statistics from the World Health Organization.

Data for the 2012-2013 school year obtained by Daily Intelligencer from the New York State Department of Health shows 245 NYC private schools fell short of the vaccination rate required to keep measles from spreading, which is 95 percent of students immunized.

Of these schools, 125 had rates below 90 percent, and 37 had rates below 70 percent, according to New York Magazine.

Nine private schools were so underimmunized, falling between 41.5 and 18.4 percent, they collectively have the worst measles vaccination rate compared to any country in the world.

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NYC public schools, on the other hand, have an average vaccination rate of 98 percent, according to the Department of Education.

Measles can be spread to those who have been vaccinated. Keeping the vaccination rate at 95 percent ensures “herd immunity.”

New York immunization laws have long been touted as being stricter than those in California, where exemptions are made for personal beliefs.

A measles outbreak in Orange County, Calif., now has 21 confirmed cases.

In 2011, Silicon Valley private schools reported that only 23 percent of kindergartners were fully vaccinated.

Twenty cases of measles have been reported in NYC and New York-Presbyterian Hospital is reaching out to 600 patients who they say may have been inadvertently exposed to measles.

Sources: New York Magazine, Los Angeles Times