The percentage of children not fully immunized includes children who, for various legitimate reason, have some of their shots but simply may not have completed the entire series of shots by the recommended age.
For example, a child is supposed to have one measles shot by 19 months and two more shots by age 6. Each shot provides some protection. If a child has episodes of sore throat or ear infection or even discomfort from teething, the immunization schedule can be delayed by several months.
The percentage of children whose parents have completely opted not to vaccinate their children at all is only about 3 percent, and many of them have legitimate health reasons for doing so.
"I am grateful for and proud of St. Louis City parents for age-appropriately vaccinating their children," said Pamela Rice Walker, Health Director for the City of St. Louis. "By doing so they have protected their children from the risks posed by the current U.S. measles outbreak.”
St. Louis City has had one measles case since 2005. There were no transmissions of measles from that case to others.
Even though there are no measles case in St. Louis at this time, the City Department of Health is asking all parents, providers, day care providers and school administrators to check the status of their children's measles age-appropriate immunizations.
The Vaccines For Kids Program, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act require childhood vaccines to be covered at no cost. If a parent is unsure of their child's insurance coverage they should check with their provider. The City of St. Louis has four federally qualified centers who participate in these programs. Find your nearest health center at http://www.stlouisihn.org/.
To view immunization schedules please visit the following webpage: http://health.mo.gov/living/wellness/immunizations/schedules.php
Division of Health
Immunizations and Public Health
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