Health Officials Concerned About Drop in Vaccination Rates as School Starts

Aug 22, 2016

Schools across Iowa are beginning classes this week amid concerns from public health officials about the drop in vaccination rates. At many schools, the percentage of students fully vaccinated is below 90 percent, and at a few around the state, it's below 50 percent. 

State Epidemiologist Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says more families are seeking exemptions from vaccinations for a variety of reasons. 

"One of the reasons is that people no longer have seen these diseases and therefore don't realize how bad they can be," she explains. 

In Iowa, families can only obtain waivers from vaccinations based on religious or medical grounds. During this River to River segment, Dr. Quinlisk talks with host Ben Kieffer. 

Pramod Dwivedi, Health Director for Linn County Public Health, and Heather Meador, Senior Public Health Nurse at Linn County Public Health, also join the conversation.