Vaccination rates AND refusals up

A study by Blue Cross Blue Shield found that the proportion of BSBS-covered “fully vaccinated” children has increased from 69% in 2013 to 77% in 2016. Most would regard that as good news, right? But at the same time, the rate of childhood vaccine refusals has increased from 2.5% to 4.2%. While these two figures seem contradictory, both can be true because fewer children are missing vaccinations unintentionally. Interestingly, the highest rates of “vaccine deniers” (everyone gets a pejorative label for something these days) are in New York, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, and Arizona. For its part, BCBS would like to see the rates of full vaccination at 80%-90% because, in the words of Trent Haywood, their Chief Medical Officer, “It’s always more effective and more affordable if you do the right thing on the front end.”