Vaccine victory

By Baker City Herald Editorial Board February 27, 2012 08:37 am

Parents in the Baker School District are admirably diligent in making sure their kids are inoculated against infectious diseases.

For proof, just consider what happened in schools earlier this month.

Or, more accurately, what didn't happen.

Feb. 15 was the so-called "Exclusion Day" in Oregon public schools. On that day, students who aren't up to date on their immunizations, or whose parents haven't invoked the state's religious exemption, are sent home from school.

Twenty-five students were excluded that day — slightly more than 1 percent of the district's enrollment.

But their vacation was brief.

By Feb. 16 all of those students were back in class.

Besides the parents, we credit the Baker County Health Department, which had three nurses on duty Wednesday to give the necessary shots.

Baker County's immunization rates exceed the state average in many categories.

The county's rate of students who have the religious exemption is slightly higher than the state average — 6 percent versus 5.6 percent.

Ultimately, we're pleased that the vast majority of local parents realize that vaccines are a safe, cheap and immensely effective way to protect their children against potentially fatal diseases.