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Four Capitol Hill schools have vaccination rates below ‘herd immunity’ standard — UPDATE

Four schools on Capitol Hill had a 10% or higher vaccination opt-out rate -- see the full map at

Four schools on Capitol Hill had a 10% or higher vaccination opt-out rate — see the full map at

Four schools on Capitol Hill have student vaccination opt out rates above 10% — breaking the “herd immunity” model — The Seattle Times reports:

At least 86 schools in King and Snohomish counties have a vaccine exemption rate of 10 percent or higher, an analysis of Department of Health data shows. Typically, 90 percent of a population must be vaccinated for highly contagious diseases to achieve “herd immunity” — the point where enough people are immunized to protect those most vulnerable to infection.

The Times report includes a map of the “10%” schools including the Hebrew Academy near Interlaken, Lowell Elementary on E Mercer, and NOVA High School, and the Secondary Bilingual Orientation Center on the Meany campus near 19th and Thomas. You can also view school stats by ZIP Code:


With numbers for all grades shaking out with surprisingly high opt out rates, there are signs that things won’t be improving on the vaccination front anytime soon. In November, CHS reported on the “out of compliance” rates found in Capitol Hill’s public kindergartens.

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 1.27.17 PMUPDATE: King County has provided an updated look at school vaccination data that includes some private schools left out of the Times analysis. On Capitol Hill, Bertschi weighs in with only 6% of students not fully vaccinated. But nearby private Bright Water School tallies a whopping 45% of students with incomplete vaccinations.

Meanwhile, the county has also posted information for “Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine coverage rates among kindergarteners.”

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12 thoughts on “Four Capitol Hill schools have vaccination rates below ‘herd immunity’ standard — UPDATE

  1. I think the parents who are opting out of vaccinations for their children for “personal reasons” should take a little field trip up to Lakeview cemetery and see all the graves of children. Or maybe ask their grandparents about what it was like when these now preventable diseases would rage through the neighborhood.

    Nobody remembers what it was like before vaccines because of the incredible public health success it brought. It’s not a “personal reasons”, it’s ignorance.

    • What incredibly stupid comments. More children have actually died from the effects of bad vaccines than from the traditional childhood “diseases” themselves. I survived the measles, mumps, and chickenpox and am utterly perplexed at the hysteria surrounding allowing children to build up a natural immunity to these diseases when they are young. The sole drawback to the aforementioned is chickenpox because it evidently has been linked to shingles when you are older but otherwise, adults who have been vaccinated against these 3 sicknesses and who contract them anyway as adults (yes, this does indeed occur; do some research) are far more likely to encounter debilitating consequences up to and including death than do children who have contracted these normally. I cannot fault a parent who is reluctant to allow their child to be exposed to autism and any number of other side-effects.

      • What an incredible stupid comment. More children have died from adverse reactions to vaccines than the diseases they inoculate against? Really? Take your anti-vaxxer lies elsewhere. “Exposed to autism.” Read a book, or better a peer-reviewed journal, and log off of the mommy blogs.

      • Your lack of medical knowledge is showing. It is simply not true that more kids have died from vaccine reactions than from childhood diseases. Yes, most people do recover without problems from the diseases you mention, but some get serious complications like encephalitis/brain damage (measles), sterility (mumps), and bacterial infection/sepsis (chicken pox). And thousands of cases of bacterial meningitis have been prevented by the Hemophilus influenza (Hib) vaccine. Polio used to affect thousands of children and now is basically nonexistent because of the vaccine. The possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism has been thoroughly disproven by careful medical studies. I could go on…..

        Your suggestion that children go unvaccinated and get “natural immunity” is so ridiculous that I won’t dignify it by commenting further.

      • Also, vaccination can decrease the severity of a disease even when it doesn’t completely prevent catching that disease (the immune system can be partially `educated’). Our experience of the vaccinable diseases for the last couple generations has seen them weakened as well as rare.

  2. Out of all the kids whose parents choose to opt-out of vaccinating, very few have valid reasons for doing so. Most are driven by fear/ignorance of serious side effects, such as the possibility of autism from the MMR vaccine (which has been completely debunked). These families are benefitting from “herd immunity” without contributing to this phenomenon. This issue has been well-studied, and it is a fact that the risk of a serious vaccine reaction is far less than the risk of a serious complication of a childhood infection that the vaccine prevents.

    Parents who opt-out are being very foolish, because they are putting their children at risk for a preventable disease….and they are also very selfish, because they are putting other children at risk (such as kids with cancer, and infants who are too young for the MMR vaccine).

    • I think the same standard should be applied for public schools. Unvaccinated? Then you’ll have to be be homeschooled. It’s time we stopped mollycoddling parents who selfishly put other kids at risk.