Study: Lower vaccination rates at charter schools

Study: Lower vaccination rates at charter schools

CREATED Dec 13, 2012

Web Producer: Mekita Rivas

PHOENIX (AP) - A new study finds that kindergartners attending charter schools in Arizona have much lower vaccination rates than students who attend public schools.

The analysis by researchers at the University of Arizona finds more than 2,000 Arizona kindergarteners skipped vaccinations because their parents choose to opt out under a state law allowing a "personal beliefs" exemption.

The Arizona Republic reports (http://bit.ly/TWAbiy ) the study found that nearly 6.2 percent of charter-school kindergartners were exempt, far more than the 2.3 percent of kindergartners in public schools. The study does not provide exemption rates at individual schools or for private schools.

Some schools had unvaccinated rates above 10 percent, a number that worries health officials.

The study is to be published online Thursday in the journal Vaccine.

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