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Ohio Immunizations Among Lowest In The Country

With the recent breakout of measles and mumps, medical groups in Ohio are ramping up efforts to encourage immunizations. That goal requires a delicate balance between a parent’s decision and a doctor’s advice. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.

When it comes to the percentage of kids that are fully immunized—Ohio ranks near the bottom of the list. The National Immunization Survey says last year less than 2/3rds of kids in the state—between 24 months and 36 months—received all the vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Melanie Farkas is the director of immunizations for the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Ohio Chapter. She says part of the reason Ohio’s number is so low is the amount of misinformation floating around.

Farkas: “Of course parents are going to want to make sure that what is being injected into their child is safe and we really encourage parents to talk to their physicians rather than kind of believing what’s online and what they read in blogs because these physicians know and understand that there are countless studies out there that prove that vaccines are safe.”

There’s legislation in the Statehouse to make sure all state licensed child care programs and preschools require the shots—with some exemptions included. Farkas hopes the bill can pass during the lame duck session.

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