Is your state a hotbed of pestilence? 2013 Edition.
Back when this blog was but an embryo, I wrote a post about the states with the highest rates of vaccine exemptions and the potential risks caused by these idiotic anti-vaxxers. And just in time for the school year, new data were recently released in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the CDC.
So which states are nasty-ass petri dishes currently in pre-outbreak mode? Is yours one of them? Who’s up and who’s down on the list? We must first acknowledge the state of Washington, which went from THE most pestilent state in 2011 down to #13 on the updated list. Why could this be, you are wondering? Well, my spidey sense says it may have something to do with the law that the state passed making it more difficult to obtain a non-medical exemption in the state. Congrats to Washington, which may fall off the pestilence list altogether in the very near future.
In contrast, we have the great state of Colorado, which barged its way up the list to the #7 spot after not being a contestant on the prior list, and boasting a full 4.0% of kindergarteners who are unvaccinated. Shields up, skiers! There are some serious clusters of unvaccinated roaming around there. Rocky mountain cry, Colorado.*
We also must give a kidney punch to Oregon, which has lodged itself in as the most pestilent state in the nation. Now, I love Oregon, and I even pronounce it correctly. I would no more put a “gone” on the end of the “Ore” than I would step on a rusty nail and try to treat the wound with colloidal silver. I spent much time there when I was just a young’un, and I do enjoy having someone else pump gas for me while I sit around. But Oregon is also well known for an “alternative” mindset, which is probably why the folks over there have decided that they will eschew vaccinations. Oregonians, let go of that tree you are hugging and get your kiddoes immunized, please! Especially because you probably just gave the tree measles.
Anyway, it bears reminding that even though these exemption rates may look “low”, the target for vaccination coverage is 95%, and some states are falling below this on the basis of exemptions alone. As I have discussed here before, exemptions are rarely spread out evenly across the population of states; rather, they tend to occur in clusters, creating a time-release epidemic bomb in areas with high exemptions. Check out the Pestilence List below and see if your state made the big time this year, and thanks for stopping by.
The 2013 Pestilence List: Top 15 states for kindergarten non-medical vaccine exemptions.
*Somewhere, John Denver weeps.