Immunization rates are significantly up in Lane County, that's according to new data released today by the Department of Health and Human Services.
In the current school year, non-medical exemptions decreased by 18%. Last July, Senate Bill 895 was signed into law. It made exemptions signed prior to March 2014 invalid and required parents to either submit proof of vaccination or go through a new – more stringent - process to get the exemption.
Jason Davis is with Lane County Public Health. He says the new law is presumably the cause for the decrease in exemptions.
DAVIS: "People who maybe see both sides of the argument will go ahead and just not vaccinate. And so, what we're seeing is a lot of those people who would otherwise consider it, starting to come in, starting to take that step."
Davis says that while policy can affect different areas in different ways...
DAVIS: "We're starting to see lower rates across the state. We're starting to see counties that have traditionally had astronomically high exemption rates start to level out like Jackson County, even up in Multnomah County."
Lane County is ranked 8th in Oregon for kindergarteners with non-medical exemptions – above the state average by half a percent.