More schools report vaccination and exemption data to department

Mark Salley, Communications Director | 303-692-2013 | mark.salley@state.co.us
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 21, 2018
 
 
DENVER — The number of Colorado schools and child care facilities reporting their immunization and exemption data to the state in 2017-2018 rose 6 percent over the number reporting in 2016-2017. Nearly 90 percent of Colorado schools and child care facilities that were required to report did so in 2017-2018.
 
Based on the information reported by schools and child care facilities across the state, the majority of Colorado children received their school-required vaccinations. Nearly 93 percent of students at Colorado schools and more than 95 percent of children in child care or preschool were in compliance with school immunization rules. Coverage and exemption rates for individual vaccines were stable compared to the previous year. Coverage for individual vaccines was 93 percent or better for all vaccines, except Tdap, which was 90 percent for those in sixth grade and up.
 
This is the second year the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has collected this data, as required by the state Board of Health. The school and child care immunization data webpage enables parents and guardians to look up immunization and exemption rates for their schools. A new tool, geared toward partners and researchers, allows users to access mapping and summary-level information.
 
“We’ve improved the system to make it easier for schools to report and parents to use these data,” said Paul Gillenwater, data manager for the Immunization Branch. “Users can search for and sort data according to their needs, and quickly compare schools and child care facilities.”
 
For 2017-2018, the department collected immunization and exemption data from 1,860 K-12 schools (up 59 from 2016-2017) representing more than 880,000 students (up 30,000). The department also collected immunization and exemption data from 1,728 (up 181) preschools and child care facilities representing more than 106,500 (up 6,000) children.
 
“We hope parents and guardians will use this website to help decide which school or child care facility their child attends,” said Tony Cappello, director of the department’s Disease Control and Environmental Epidemiology Division. “Vaccines prevent disease, and knowing a school’s vaccination rate helps ensure kids are protected as they learn and grow. It’s important for parents, especially those with children who have weakened immune systems, to have this information readily available.”
 
A Colorado Board of Health rule requires all K-12 schools (public, private and parochial), as well as child care facilities, Head Starts, and preschools that are licensed for 10 or more students, to report immunization and exemption data to the department every year. No identifying or personal information about students is collected. The department then calculates immunization and exemption rates at the school or child care, district and state levels, and makes the data available online. The complete data set will be available for download on our website July 2. To learn more about immunizations, visit www.coloradoimmunizations.com.
 
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