Last year at this time the state wasn't dealing with COVID-19 they were trying to tap down another disease, measles. According to the World Health Organization a community needs a minimum of 90% of its members to be vaccinated to help prevent measles outbreaks. Yakima Health District officials say the Yakima County vaccination rate was 89% last year but this year district spokesperson Lilian Bravo says 2020 has shown that unfortunately there have been drops in routine immunization rates mainly because of COVID-19. Bravo says on average, the state saw drops of ~23% over the first 6 months of the year, which she says is extremely significant, especially for school aged kids.
Bravo says it's important to stay up to date on all routine immunizations because that protects the community.
No reports of measles have been reported in Yakima this fall.
Measles is a highly contagious viral illness spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can remain in the air for up to two hours in an isolated space.
The full vaccine is 97 percent effective and provides immunity for life.