Maricopa County vaccination rates among lowest in the country

Maricopa County has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. As vaccination research for COVID-19 makes promising headway, residents of Maricopa County might put themselves more at risk by choosing to take exemptions. We spoke with Mac McCullough, a professor at ASU’s College of Health Solutions, and ASU Graduate Pooja Sangha about their research on local vaccination rates. 

In the study, the team looked at the decline of vaccination rates in the state and found Maricopa County rates to be one the lowest. According to Sangha, every state has school enrollment policies that require students to maintain a minimum set of vaccinations to be enrolled.

In Arizona, a student can be exempt from vaccinations by medical necessity or if their parent has a personal belief against vaccinations. Each year schools in Arizona record data on exemptions and send them to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

From receiving the data the team identified which schools were gaining and losing herd immunity. In Maricopa County, about 30 schools lost herd immunity which is about 8% of schools in Arizona. According to Sangha, the number of schools that lost herd immunity grew by 90%. The number double of what it is in the last study conducted.

Furthermore, the increase comes at a time when many are choosing not to vaccinate their kids. Though roughly 95% of Arizonans vaccinate their kids, a rise in exemptions is slowly going up.

 

 

Sponsor message:

In this segment:

Mac McCullough, ASU Professor at College of Health Solutions; Pooja Sangha, ASU Graduate.

Sponsor message:

Sign up to receive the Arizona PBS Insider

Get up-to-the-minute information about your favorite programs and learn more about Arizona PBS news and events.

'PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism' special to debut on Oct. 9

The half-hour program will feature authentic conversations between real children and their parents, and will include content from PBS KIDS series Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Arthur and Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum.

'Great Performances at the Met' returns to Sundays at 9 a.m.

"Great Performances at the Met" brings the best of the Metropolitan Opera into the homes of classical music fans across the United States.

Family Night: PBS KIDS movie marathon

Arthur and his friends gather on the couch with popcorn.

This weekend Arizona PBS KIDS is delivering a mini-marathon of hour-long specials! On Sept. 25, 26 and 27, join us at for "WordGirl: The Rise of Miss Power" at 6 p.m., "Odd Squad: World Turned Odd" at 7 p.m., "Rhythm and Roots of Arthur" at 8 p.m., and "Wild Kratts: Amazon’ Amazon Adventure" at 9 p.m.