Reporting Issue Exaggerates Denton County Vaccination Exemptions

After the recent measles outbreak in California, Texas Department of State Health Services officials are looking at how many people are protected from a potential outbreak.

The state released the number of people who opted out of vaccinations in 2014, but North Texans might be more protected than the numbers suggest. For most counties in North Texas, about 1 percent of people opt out of vaccinations for reasons of conscience. Denton County, though, reportedly had more than 4 percent of people opt out.

Officials said Denton County's number was incorrectly calculated when several schools counted the number of "shots not given" instead of the "students not vaccinated." County officials said they're recalculating and that the number is closer to 1.5 percent.

Denton County Director of Public Health Matt Richardson said 1.5 percent is still too high.

"We don't really know why parents are opting out," Richardson said. "We do know antidotaly that parents sometimes are getting their research and information from sources that aren't necessarily scientifically based."

Richardson said people are trusting articles on Facebook instead of science when it's been proven vaccinations are the best protection against disease.

For More Information:

State Conscientious Exemptions Data

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