All school districts reported more than 90 percent of students immunized in 2018, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
The most common waiver was philosophical. Schools report this information to the state by February.
According to MDHHS, before a child can attend childcare, K-12, or enroll in a new school district, parents or guardians must produce documentation confirming the child has received required immunizations or has received at least one dose of each of the required immunizations and will receive the rest.
As of February 2018, Lake Fenton schools had the highest vaccination rate of local schools at 93 percent with 7 percent waivers. Fenton had a 92-percent vaccination rate with 3 percent waivers. Holly schools were 92-percent vaccinated with 7 percent waivers and Linden was 91-percent vaccinated with 8 percent waivers.
Note that these numbers might not add up to 100 percent because some students have incomplete vaccination records.
Bob Swanson, director of the division of immunizations with the MDHHS, said “It’s very worrisome to us because if we have immunization rates that are low, that means we have a lot of children in school who are not protected. We have a large number of kids susceptible to disease.”
Herd immunity, the term used to describe how much of a population is immunized, differs for each disease. For measles, Swanson said the accepted number is at least 95 percent vaccinated.
As long as a large majority of people are immunized in any population, even the unimmunized minority will be protected. With so many people resistant, an infectious disease will never get a chance to establish itself and spread.
“I’d like to see 100 percent,” he said.
The number of medical waivers has stayed consistent, Swanson said. These are used when a child has a medical condition that would prevent them from getting vaccinations. “Philosophical” evaluations are used as the “other” exception when religion or medical reasons don’t apply.
Kindergarten immunization status for 2018
Ellen Street Campus had the lowest immunization rate in 2018 at 81.5 percent. One waiver was religious while 10 were philosophical. State Road Elementary had the highest rate at 94 percent immunized with four philosophical waivers. Tomek Eastern Elementary reported 92-percent immunized with six philosophical waivers.
North Road Elementary was 89.1-percent immunized with four incomplete records and three philosophical waivers. St. John School was 82.6-percent immunized with two incomplete vaccination records and two philosophical waivers.
Hyatt Elementary was 93-percent vaccinated with one religious and five philosophical waivers in 2018. Linden Elementary was 92.1-percent vaccinated, with two religious waivers and six philosophical waivers. Central Elementary was not included on the list.
Linden Charter Academy was 91.8-percent vaccinated with one medical exemption and six records of incomplete vaccination records.
West Shore Elementary is 90.1-percent immunized with four religious waivers and 12 philosophical waivers. Torrey Hill was not mentioned in the report.
Holly Academy reported 80-percent immunized with three incomplete vaccination records, three religious waivers and eight philosophical waivers. Rose Pioneer Elementary reported 92.3-percent immunized with two philosophical waivers.
Holly Elementary was 95.2-percent vaccinated in 2018 with three philosophical waivers, the highest of all four school districts. Patterson Elementary reported 91.7-percent immunized with one religious and five philosophical waivers
Davisburg Elementary was 91.5-percent immunized with two medical waivers and three philosophical waivers.
Seventh grade immunization status for 2018
Andrew G Schmidt Middle School reported 91.3-percent immunized with 19 incomplete vaccination records and two philosophical waivers. All 18 of the seventh graders at St. John School were vaccinated in 2018.
Linden Middle School was reported 93.8 percent vaccinated with one incomplete vaccination record and 12 philosophical waivers. Linden Charter Academy was 88.9-percent immunized with two incomplete vaccination records, two religious waivers and three philosophical waivers.
Lake Fenton Middle School was 94.4-percent immunized in 2018, with two religious exemptions and seven philosophical waivers.
Holly Academy seventh graders were 89.2-percent immunized with one incomplete record, one religious waiver and five philosophical waivers. Holly Middle School was 92.3-percent immunized with four incomplete records, two medical waivers, one religious waiver and 10 philosophical waivers.
Waivers for Genesee County schools:
Total waivers: 607