Could slowing vaccination rates endanger ‘herd immunity’?

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BEND, Ore. (AP) — A state health official says the vaccination rate for measles in Oregon has gotten low enough to cause concern the disease could spread.

A Lane County man is among more than 100 people who got measles in the Disneyland outbreak. His visit was in early January. Officials like to wait four weeks to say for sure a measles patient hasn’t infected anyone else.

MORE>>>  102 people in 14 states now sickened with measles, outbreak likely to get worse 

Dr. Paul Cieslak of the Oregon Public Health Department tells The Bulletin newspaper the number of Oregonians claiming exemptions from vaccination requirements has crept up.

Federal figures show about 91 percent of Oregon children between 19 months and 35 months have been vaccinated against measles.

Cieslak says that’s below the target of 94 percent, the point when herd immunity stops measles from spreading.

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