Lamont: Data on unvaccinated school kids 'startling'Posted: Updated:
The state Health Department has released new statistics on the number of children claiming religious or medical exemptions from vaccinations, and Gov. Ned Lamont says the numbers are "startling."
The report cites information from every school in the state, both public and private. It shows that Connecticut student vaccination rates, for measles, mumps and rubella, are sliding.
Among the schools with the highest percentages of unvaccinated students in our area:
- The Speech Academy in Easton has 17% claiming exemption
- Milford Christian Academy has 23.3% claiming exemption
- Giant Steps Connecticut in Fairfield with 34.2% claiming exemption
- Housatonic Valley School in Newtown has 37.7% claiming exemption
"This data is startling and needs to be addressed," says Gov. Lamont. "This cannot become a public health crisis as we have seen in other states. Making sure all of our young students in Connecticut are safe is the number one priority."
"These numbers are shocking," says House Majority Leader Matt Ritter. "The more students who are vaccinated, the safer a school is from an outbreak of measles or other vaccine-preventable diseases."
Some schools, like Redding Elementary, say the report is inaccurate. The superintendent claims only 4.7% of students claim exemptions, a stark contrast from the 41% noted.
"I think we have to keep in mind that it's a snapshot in time and there are children whose immunities are compromised and can't be vaccinated at this particular time," says Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents Fran Rabinowitz.