It was revealed by ABC7 that the District of Columbia has over 8,000 students currently enrolled in schools without getting the mandatory vaccinations, despite not being legally exempted from them. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued an open letter to parents Thursday, calling for children’s vaccination.
The figure is based on the data held by the Department of Health and unveiled in the middle of the country’s worst measles outbreak in 27 years.
Only 237 out of the city’s 100,000 students obtained the legal paperwork for exemption from vaccines.
D.C. is known to have recently started its immunization campaign. Mayor Bowser released a letter titled “Don’t Wait, Vaccinate,” where she urged parents “not to wait until school starts to get their children vaccinated.”
“Vaccines are safe and effective and immunizations protect the entire community, especially people who are unable to safely receive the vaccine themselves – such as newborns as well as children, adults, and seniors with weakened immune systems. Health centers in all eight wards are offering free immunizations for children and teens,” Bowser said in her letter.
We are urging parents not to wait until school starts to get their children vaccinated. Make an appointment today with your child’s primary care physician or visit a District health facility. #DontWaitVaccinate
Read more in this week's newsletter ⬇️https://t.co/RenGvva0dg
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) July 18, 2019
Last May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that there were 971 reported measles cases in the first five months of 2019. The number is above 963, which was recorded in 1992 as the highest.
Rockland County and New York City were named as this year’s leading areas for the largest number of measles cases.
Measles is a very contagious infectious disease caused by the measles virus with early symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, and inflamed eyes. It spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of infected people.
According to the CDC, children over one year of age should get two doses of the MMR vaccine. However, babies younger than one should receive the first dose if they are traveling abroad.