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Arizona childhood vaccination rates at a low

Childhood vaccination rates in Arizona are lower than at any point in the past decade.

Out of nearly 1,000 Arizona schools with kindergarten classes, about 60% had decreases in students considered immune from measles, mumps and rubella between 2018 and 2021, according to an analysis of school vaccination data from the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.

The drop in rates follows a years-long decline in immunizations among Arizona students overall. Experts say the decrease puts residents of all ages at heightened risk of infection from largely preventable communicable diseases.

AZCIR partially attributes to drop to missed medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to a reluctance by the Arizona Department of Health Services to address rising rates of personal belief vaccine exemptions.