MADISON COUNTY, Ala – There is one confirmed case of measles in Alabama, but 764 cases nationwide. That’s the highest it’s been in nearly two decades. The Department of Public Health has procedures in place in case a student at public schools comes down with the virus.
Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles, but for people who are not vaccinated, the disease is extremely contagious. The state is investigating 30 potential measles cases in Alabama. And ADPH has a plan in place in case a public school student comes down with the virus.
Dr. Karen Landers works for ADPH. She says, children who have not had their MMR vaccine…
“Would not be able to come back to school until they were either updated on their vaccine or until the incubation period and the time for their potentially developing measles disease had passed,” Landers said.
Officials with the Department of Public Health say they would like to see 100% of public school students have up to date vaccinations. The most current vaccination numbers are from the 2017-2018 School Entry Survey. In the northern district of the state, the county with the highest vaccination numbers is Limestone County. Only .26% of students do not have a certificate of vaccination and .35% have an expired COI.
In Madison County, just shy of one percent of students do not have a COI. 2.2 % have an expired certificate of immunization.
The county with the lowest rates was Cleburne County. While there weren’t any students who were without a COI, 40% of students had an expired certificate of immunization.
Statistics released from the state do not elaborate on which vaccinations a student has not received.
Having up-to-date vaccinations is a state requirement so how can a student be enrolled without a certificate of immunization or with an expired COI?
Landers says individual school systems can make decisions about a student’s certificate of immunization based on their local policies.
An official with the Department of Public Health told WHNT News 19 that the School Entry Survey numbers are normally turned in at the beginning of the school year and could have changed since they were reported.