OSDH releases survey of kindergarten vaccination rates

Eleven of Payne County’s 13 kindergartens took part in an annual survey on childhood immunization. The Oklahoma State Department of Health released the results of the statewide survey Thursday morning with an online map of the data.

According to the OSDH, the data reflects the immunization status of 92 percent of Oklahoma’s kindergartners during the 2018-19 school year.

The breakdown sorts by students up to date on Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTaP), Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR), polio and varicella (chicken pox). The percentage for each school reflects the amount of kindergartners that are up to date for each vaccine.

Payne County had a coverage rate of HepB 96.88%; HepA 96.47%; Varicella 96.2%; Polio 94.43%; DTaP 94.29% and MMR 94.02%, with 2.2% of Payne County kindergartners with an exemption on file.

The OSDH noted that among the vaccines, DTap and MMR had the lowest coverage. Dr. Stephen Smalley, a pediatrician at Stillwater Pediatrics, believes the low coverage rates can be blamed on a false yet widely held belief that linked MMR to autism.

“Lower MMR vaccination rates stem from a now infamous and now widely criticized 1998 study published in the journal Lancet. One of the conclusions was that the MMR vaccine may contribute to autism. This finding has been overwhelmingly discredited by a number of medical studies, and in 2010 the Lancet retracted the study. However, this journal article struck a deep nerve with some parents, and since that time, a growing and very vocal minority have created an anti-vaccine narrative that has lasted nearly 20 years with no end in sight,” Smalley wrote in an email to the News Press. “The anti-vaccine message has propagated through the unregulated labyrinth of the internet like an aggressive cancer, with anti-vaccine articles appearing next to good quality websites that give appropriate information about the overwhelming safety and efficacy of the MMR vaccine.  Still, because the thought of autism strikes fear in some parents, it is still refused disproportionately compared to the other vaccines.

“This anti-MMR sentiment has led to a resurgence of measles, which was actually declared eradicated at the end of the 20th century. As of Aug. 25, there have been 1,215 cases confirmed by the CDC.”

Though the vaccinations are required for public school entry, Oklahoma allows for medical, religious and personal exemptions for vaccinations. That percentage of exemption was also noted in the survey.

The Payne County School with the highest marks for coverage was Richmond Elementary with 98.8% for every vaccine except HepB (96.39%) and a 1.2% exemption rate.

The largest outlier among county schools in the survey was Yale, which reported 100% for the Chicken Pox vaccine but was 50% for DTaP, 54.55% for for Polio and 63.64% for MMR.

“Analysis of this data drives program activities to improve vaccination coverage in our state,” said Interim OSDH Commissioner of Health Tom Bates. “We appreciate the support from the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the local school officials who contributed to such an important project. We know that vaccinations are among the most effective ways to protect against serious diseases.”

Survey Results for Area Schools

Percentage of Kindergartners who were up-to-date on their vaccinations (2018-2019 school year)

Richmond Elementary School 

DTaP: 98.8%

Hep A: 96.39%

Hep B: 98.8%

MMR: 98.8%

Polio: 98.8%

Varicella: 98.8%

All: 98.8%

1.2% of kindergartners had an exemption on file

Skyline Elementary 

DTaP: 98.84%

Hep A: 98.84%

Hep B: 98.84%

MMR: 98.84%

Polio: 98.84%

Varicella: 96.51%

All: 96.51%

3.5% of kindergartners had an exemption on file

Will Rogers Elementary School

DTaP: 98.88%

Hep A: 97.75%

Hep B: 97.75%

MMR: 97.75%

Polio: 98.88%

Varicella: 98.88%

All: 96.63%

2.2% of kindergartners had an exemption on file

Highland Park 

DTaP: 97.59%

Hep A: 97.59%

Hep B: 97.59%

MMR: 97.59%

Polio: 97.59%

Varicella: 97.59%

All: 97.59%

2.4% of kindergartners had an exemption on file

Westwood Elementary School 

DTaP: 95.79%

Hep A: 95.79%

Hep B: 95.79%

MMR: 95.79%

Polio: 95.79%

Varicella: 94.74%

All: 94.74%

4.2% of kindergartners had an exemption on file

Sangre Ridge Elementary 

DTaP: 98.82%

Hep A: 97.65%

Hep B: 98.82%

MMR: 98.82%

Polio: 98.82%

Varicella: 98.82%

All: 97.65%

1.2% of kindergartners had an exemption on file

Glencoe Elementary 

DTaP: 90.32%

Hep A: 96.77%

Hep B: 100%

MMR: 90.32%

Polio: 100%

Varicella: 96.77%

All: 90.32%

No Exemptions Existed

Perkins-Tryon Elementary

DTaP: 91.6%

Hep A: 95.8%

Hep B: 96.64%

MMR: 90.76%

Polio: 91.6%

Varicella: 91.6%

All: 90.76%

3.4% of kindergartners had an exemption on file

Ripley Elementary

DTaP: 76%

Hep A: 88%

Hep B: 88%

MMR: 76%

Polio: 76%

Varicella: 88%

All: 76%

8% of kindergartners had an exemption on file

Oak Grove Public Schools 

DTaP: 88.89%

Hep A: 88.89%

Hep B: 88.89%

MMR: 72.22%

Polio: 72.22%

Varicella: 94.44%

All: 72.22%

5.6% of kindergartners had an exemption on file

Yale Elementary 

DTaP: 50%

Hep A: 95.45%

Hep B: 86.36%

MMR: 63.64%

Polio: 54.55%

Varicella: 100% 

All: 45.45%

No Exemptions Existed

Cushing Lower ES

Did Not Complete Survey

Stillwater Christian School 

Did Not Complete Survey

– Outside of Payne County –


DTaP: 96%

Hep A: 100%

Hep B: 100%

MMR: 88%

Polio: 96%

Varicella: 100%

All: 84%

No Exemptions Existed

Morrison Elementary 

DTaP: 95.35%

Hep A: 95.35%

Hep B: 100%

MMR: 95.35%

Polio: 100%

Varicella: 100%

All: 93.02%

No Exemptions Existed

Perry Lower Elementary School 

DTaP: 93.81%

Hep A: 94.85%

Hep B: 100%

MMR: 95.88%

Polio: 96.91%

Varicella: 100%

All: 93.81%

No Exemptions Existed

Pawnee Elementary 

DTaP: 97.96%

Hep A: 97.96%

Hep B: 97.96%

MMR: 97.96%

Polio: 97.96%

Varicella: 97.96%

All: 97.96%

2% of kindergartners had an exemption on file

Mulhall-Orlando Elementary 

DTaP: 83.33%

Hep A: 91.67%

Hep B: 91.67%

MMR: 75%

Polio: 83.33%

Varicella: 100%

All: 75%

No Exemptions Existed

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