State Official: Lower Immunization Rates Put Arizona at Risk

Apr 15, 2019

Arizona's top health official says increased use of immunization exemptions are putting the state at risk of an outbreak of diseases.

Credit Courtesy

Health Services Director Cara Christ (krihst) said in a blog post Friday that nonmedical exemption rates of students have increased across all age categories three years in a row.

Arizona law requires that children attending school or child care must obtain certain vaccines, unless exempted by a doctor for medical reasons, or by a parent for personal or religious reasons.

Christ says religious-belief exemption rates for child care-preschool have increased to 4.5% from 1% since 2000, while personal belief exemption rates in kindergarten have risen to 5.9% from 1.4% and in 6th grade to 6.1% from 1%.

Exemptions for medical reasons are rare.