Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) released results earlier this week from an annual survey sent to school districts across Oklahoma. According to OSDH, the survey includes information obtained throughout the state to identify “vaccination coverage and exemption status” of students enrolled in public or private kindergarten.
According to OSDH, school responses represented 94 percent of students in public kindergarten while only 51 percent were represented from private programs.
Information obtained through the survey is now available online for the first time through an interactive tool, according to OSDH, which states the movement was in an effort to improve transparency. Those who access the data will be able to view results by county as well as by individual school.
According to OSDH: “Each school’s listing provides the percentage of kindergarten students who were up to date on each individual vaccine for polio, varicella, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP); and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). Results indicate the DTaP and MMR vaccines have the lowest current coverage.”
Results from OSDH show in Stephens County, 567 kindergartners attended school in 2018. Of the 12 kindergarten schools in Stephens County, all completed the survey to represent each of the 567 kindergartners in the county.
In Stephens County, 93.5 percent of kindergartners surveyed were up-to-date on all of their vaccinations. Reports show 1.6 percent of kindergartners who went to school in the county had an exemption status on file.
According to results, the Stephens County Antigen Breakdown is as follows:
• DTaP: 94.89 percent.
• Hep A: 97.53 percent.
• Hep B: 97.88 percent.
• MMR: 94.36 percent.
• Polio: 94.71 percent.
• Varicella: 98.24 percent.
Tom Bates, interim commissioner of health for Oklahoma said this pool of information will prove beneficial for improvement.
“Analysis of this data drives program activities to improve vaccination coverage in our state,” Bates said. “We appreciate the support from the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the local school officials who contributed to such an important project. We know that vaccinations are among the most effective ways to protect against serious diseases.”
On a state level, the study found “the number of kindergarten students up to date on all vaccines increased by 1% from 90.4% in 2017-18, to 91.4% in 2018-19.” OSDH also reported up-to-date rates for MMR, Hep B and Hep A all increased over last year while DTaP and Varicella decreased. OSDH also stated students with an exemption record nudged up by 0.2 percent from 2.4 percent in 2017-18 to 2.6 percent 2018-19.
“The majority of these exemptions were approved for non-medical reasons such as personal or religious reasons,” OSDH states.
To view the recommended immunization schedule, visit https://go.usa.gov/xVC9k or contact the OSDH Immunization Service at (405) 271-4073.