The State Department of Education in Oklahoma is very pleased with the data from the 2019-20 Kindergarten Immunization Survey, which shows 91% of their kindergarteners are fully vaccinated.

OKC Fox reported the schools that participated in the survey, which provided the number of kindergarten students who were up-to-date on their vaccines for polio, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, varicella, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, and mumps, measles, and rubella.

From 2019 through 2020, around 55,350 children were enrolled in kindergarten statewide. However, the results from schools with less than 10 kindergartners were not reported to protect student privacy.

The results, which were released Oct. 6, represented 53% of private school students and 88% of public school students, according to Oklahoma Watch.

In Oklahoma, kindergarteners are required to be immunized against 10 diseases unless parents are able to obtain an exemption based on medical, religious, or personal reasons.

Kellie Clark, the health department’s immunization nurse manager, admitted there was a drop in survey participation from 70 schools this year, but the results were still impressive considering the circumstances.

“Our numbers would have been considerably lower if not for the State Department of Education encouraging schools to participate,” she said.

“We had been trending up in participation, but considering the challenges related to the pandemic we feel good about the numbers.”

Although Clark boasted about the number of vaccinated students, new data revealed that 7,870 Oklahoma kindergarteners who are up to date with their vaccines were not included in the survey because their schools did not submit the information.

The goal of the survey is to encourage public health policy and program activities to prevent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and improve vaccination in Oklahoma.

Although the survey is voluntary, schools that participate are required to report their results to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will be included in the national kindergarten survey report.

Oklahoma student with coronavirus goes to school
Oklahoma student with coronavirus goes to school Christo Anestev - Pixabay