Report: 5 percent of Michigan kids unvaccinated for non-medical reasons

by

comment

It's fairly easy for parents in Michigan to avoid getting their kids vaccinated. An objection here (basically) amounts to, "Eh, not interested." That, in part, is why we have the country's fourth-highest rate of religious or philosophical waivers to vaccine requirements — roughly 5.5 percent of Michigan's 125,000 kindergartners, according to The Associated Press. It's not only philosophical reasons that drive Michigan's numbers up: Some parents simply forget to schedule a vaccination and score a waiver with relative ease.

That puts Michigan in the top-tier of unvaccinated states. A comprehensive report from Mother Jones today that details a growing anti-vaccination trend here found only Oregon has a higher population of unvaccinated kids than Michigan. Vermont and Idaho share similar numbers.

And where there's high levels of exemptions, this happens:

On Vashon Island, Washington, 17 percent of kindergartners failed to receive their shots in 2013 due to a "personal/philosophical" exemption. That's nine times the current national average. The year before, Vashon Islanders accounted for 16 percent of all whooping cough cases in Washington state's King County, despite housing just one percent of its population.

Tags

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.