Immunization-exemption rates on rise among Arizona schoolchildren

By Kerry Fehr-Snyder

The Arizona Republic

When a Gilbert student contracted mumps in February, 35 other children who weren’t fully vaccinated against the virus were sent home from school for as long as a month.

“For their education, this was extremely disruptive,” said Mike Thomason, assistant superintendent in the Higley Unified School District.

It’s just one example illustrating that in Arizona, persuading parents to vaccinate their children has been difficult, and if they don’t, it can have widespread implications not only for their own children but for many others.

Immunization-exemption rates among Arizona schoolchildren have doubled in the past 10 years, state health records show.

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