New Mexico sees uptick in children without vaccinations
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials are calling for more parents to vaccinate their children.
The plea issued Wednesday comes as public health offices in the Pacific Northwest deal with an ongoing measles outbreak that has sickened dozens of people so far. Most cases in Washington state have involved young children under age 10 who weren’t vaccinated.
New Mexico Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel says vaccinations are the best protection against measles and other serious diseases.
The state health department says New Mexico has seen a steady increase in the number of children who aren’t fully vaccinated. There has been a 60 percent increase in the rate of people exempting from recommended vaccinations in the state since 2012.
As of last year, the department says more than 4,400 school-aged children had an exemption.