The Vashon Island School District near Seattle has seen a significant increase in fully immunized children, reports The Associated Press. The island is “known for its rural beauty, counterculture lifestyle and low immunization rates.”
The number of kindergartners who received the required set of state-mandated vaccines jumped by 31% in the past six years, from 56% to nearly 74% in the 2017-18 school year, according to the King County Public Health Department.
Amid the nation’s highest number of measles cases in 25 years, pro-vaccine advocates are cheering the apparent shift that challenges Vashon’s reputation as a hotbed of highly educated, anti-establishment parents who choose not to vaccinate their children from preventable and potentially devastating diseases.
“We’ve been the poster children for the anti-vaccine or vaccine-hesitancy movement for so long,” Day said. She attributes the rising numbers to increasingly visible pro-vaccine information, expanded access to shots and media coverage of measles outbreaks in the Pacific Northwest and New York this year.