Effectiveness of vaccines | Letter

On January 25, Governor Inslee declared a state-wide state of emergency due to the current outbreak of measles, which is highly contagious and potentially deadly. Almost all cases are unvaccinated children.

After a measles outbreak, California removed all non-medical exemptions from its vaccination requirements in 2015. But Washington still allows religious and personal exemptions.

As a result, Washington has one of the worst vaccination rates in the country. In the Lake Washington School District, a whopping 1,740 students in the 2017-18 school year were not completely vaccinated. Is your child sitting next to one of them in class? Or on the bus?

Some ask, “My kid is vaccinated, so why worry?” Because no vaccine is perfect. The measles vaccine is very effective, which is why unvaccinated children are 35 times more likely to contract measles. But it’s “only” 95% to 98% effective. And exposure to infected kids occurs in schools long before the disease is diagnosed. So if a child with measles enters a classroom, the odds are good that another student will become infected.

Contact your legislators and demand that all non-medical exemptions (both personal and religious) be eliminated.

Matthew Barry

Issaquah

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