Not a joke: Oregon leads the nation in vaccine opt-outs.

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Wow. This is just so bad.

The map is from Mother Jones magazine. Among the examples of the impact of the high rate of vaccine opt-outs is this horrifying one:

On Vashon Island, Washington, 17 percent of kindergartners failed to receive their shots in 2013 due to a "personal/philosophical" exemption. That's nine times the current national average. The year before, Vashon Islanders accounted for 16 percent of all whooping cough cases in Washington's King County, despite housing just one percent of its population.

It's been said before, but I'll repeat it: This is not simply a personal decision that folks are making for their own families. There are lots of people in every community -- infants, elderly, sick, allergic -- who cannot get the vaccines. People who opt out of vaccines for nonmedical reasons are dramatically expanding the likelihood of infection for everyone who can't be vaccinated for legitimate reasons.

Oregon, we can do better. This is a not one of those situations when it's cool to be weird.

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