Number of vaccinated students down in Madison, up statewide

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) -  Every day nurse Bonnie Davis treats students in Madison City schools. And over the years she`s seen more and more students exempt from state vaccination policy.

In Alabama, students are required by the state to get a series of vaccinations, but parents can seek exemptions for religious or medical reasons.

In Madison City Schools, about 40 students have gone without vaccinations this year - almost double what Davis remembers from previous years. Davis says there seems to be more religious exemptions than medical.

However statewide Department of Public Health figures show 94.4 percent of Alabama students were vaccinated last year - up from 94.1 percent in 2013. Experts say that's good news, if the trend continues.

But Dr. Lawrence Robey with Madison County Health Department wants that number to be even higher.

"If everybody is immunized still maybe 1, 2, 3 percent of the population will not be protected because their bodies did not respond to the vaccine," Robey explained. "If you get down closer to 90 percent of people immunized, you have 10 percent people who aren`t and add in the people who didn`t respond to the vaccine and you have enough people out there who can then transmit the disease and we could have a potential for an outbreak like what you`re seeing in California."

The Measles outbreak that started in California has spread across eight states, but has not affected Alabama. Overall, 95 people have contracted Measles since the outbreak started in December.

 

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