Facts & Stats
Opponents of Yes on 1 will have you believe that Maine's vaccination rates are falling at a drastic rate. However, the data compiled and provided by the state, does not support that false claim.
The Maine CDC Immunization Rate Assessment Reports page includes school vaccination reports every year , which lists vaccination rates and exemption rates for hundreds of schools and thousands of students across the state.
Take a look at the statewide rates for every year and you'll note that almost all are near or above 95%. And of particular note, notice how First grade rates go up from the Kindergarten rates of the previous rate suggesting that many families complete their boosters in the Kindergarten year or just prior to 1st grade. Also of note, 1st grade data was omitted from the latest report.
The media has been reporting that vaccine exemption rates are at or above 5%, which is chipping away at our herd immunity protection. However, what they're not reporting is that the total exemption rates as reported in the Maine School Immunization Assessment Report add up missing records, medical exemptions and non-medical exemptions.
The exemption rate and the vaccination rate are two different things. The vaccination rate is the MINIMUM percentage of kids who have received EVERY dose in that series. If you add the vaccination rate to the exemption rate, it equals more than 100, because a person can be both fully vaccinated for all but one series and exempt for that series. For example, if Kindy Kid A has received all 4 polio vaccines, the varicella vaccine, both MMR vaccines, but only 4 of the 5 DTaP vaccines, they are 100% vaccinated for the first 3 and must file an exemption for the DTaP. If their classmate, Kindy Kid B, has everything but the 4th dose of polio, then Kid B is 100% vaccinated for 3 series and have to file an exemption for the 4th. If this is a kindergarten class of 5 kids, then the school’s vaccination rate for polio is 80%, varicella 100%, MMR 100%, and DTap 80%. Their EXEMPTION rate is 40%. When in reality, one kid has 4/5 vaccines, and the other has 3/4, and everyone is otherwise completely, 100% vaccinated.
According to the 2018 National Immunization Survey Childhood Report found on the Maine CDC Immunization Rate Assessment Reports page, Maine ranks 1st in the nation of children at 24 months receiving all 4 Dtap vaccinations and 9th in the nation with receiving the full 4313314 series: 4 DTaP, 3 IPV, 1 MMR, 3 Hib, 3 HepB, 1 Var, 4 PCV.
And note in the talking points from that same report that Maine is either at, or above, the national average for EVERY childhood vaccine, with exception of hepatitis B.
Let's also talk about vaccine efficacy. The 2018 Maine Surveillance Report compiled by the Maine DHHS shows that a whopping 78% of the 446 cases of Pertussis in 2018 were in FULLY VACCINATED individuals.
This Boston University School of Public Health article attributes states "this disease is back because we didn’t really understand how our immune defenses against whooping cough worked, and did not understand how the vaccines needed to work to prevent it."
Read the data for yourself and see if you've been given all the information before casting your vote.