Kindergarten immunization increased statewide, not locally

The state Department of Health announced Wednesday that the statewide kindergarten immunization rate increased by more than 2 percent this school year.

The same can’t be said for Clark County.

Statewide, 85 percent of kindergartners had the required vaccines to start school last fall. That’s up 2.2 percent from the 2014-15 school year.

“Immunization is one of the best ways to protect our children from diseases vaccines can prevent,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman in a news release. “We feel like we’re starting to turn a corner.”

In Clark County, however, only 76.7 percent of kindergartners had the required vaccines at the start of the 2015-16 school year. The year before, 76.6 percent of kids were vaccinated.

Statewide, immunization exemptions – granted for medical, religious and personal reasons – remained the same at 4.5 percent.

In Clark County, the exemption rate was higher: 7.5 percent this year and 6.9 percent last year. Most of those exemptions were for personal reasons.

Statewide, 8.6 percent of kindergartners were out of compliance, meaning the student was missing the required immunization paperwork. Locally, 13.3 percent of kindergartners were out of compliance.

Across all grade levels, 78.8 percent of Clark County students met state vaccination requirements. That’s about the same as the 2014-15 school year (78.1 percent).

Here are the 2015-16 immunization rates and exemption rates for each Clark County school district (Most exemptions are for personal reasons):

-Battle Ground: 85.5 percent, 9.8 percent exempt

-Camas: 90.9 percent, 8.8 percent exempt

-Evergreen: 59 percent, 5.5 percent exempt

-Green Mountain: 38.4 percent, 2.5 percent exempt

-Hockinson: 80.6 percent, 8.7 percent exempt

-La Center: 87.6 percent, 6.7 percent exempt

-Ridgefield: 91 percent, 8.7 percent exempt

-Vancouver: 89.8 percent, 5.5 percent exempt

-Washougal: 91 percent, 7.3 percent exempt

School-specific data is available on the Department of Health website.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at or 360-735-4546.

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