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Vaccination rates available after May 15

Exclusion day came and went, but I have yet to see any vaccination rates published. Did I miss those?

— Rachel L., Medford

Rachel, the rates are forthcoming, but we can give you a few numbers.

On Feb. 1, the Jackson County Public Health Department sent out 1,625 letters — compared to about 1,800 letters in 2016 — to families of children who were missing vaccinations required to attend public and private schools, preschools, Head Start and certified child care facilities.

Parents were told they had until Wednesday, Feb. 15, to vaccinate their child or complete the process of claiming a nonmedical or medical exemption.

Between Feb. 1 and Feb. 15, the department administered about 470 vaccines, most likely to school-age children, said Jackson Baures, the county's Public Health Division manager.

“On average, we give about 100 vaccines in a two-week time period,” he said.

Students who couldn't provide the necessary immunization or exemption documentation by Feb. 15 were sent home from school. However, the number of exclusions district-wide were minimal, and while the exact number of exclusions was not immediately available, the district's absence rate on exclusion day increased by less than one percentage point, compared to the previous two Wednesdays, said district spokeswoman Natalie Hurd.

Schools had until Feb. 27 to report the number of exemptions to the county health department, which has until March 10 to complete a report and send it to Oregon Health Authority.

The state then has until May 15 to distribute the county and school immunization rates. The rates will be available in a very large Excel spreadsheet on Oregon Health Authority's website and on individual school websites soon after.

— Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.