Montana 2015–2016 School Immunization Assessment
Why collect school immunization data?
With over 145,000 students enrolled in public and private schools in Montana, the school setting provides a great opportunity to protect the health and limit the spread of disease among Montana school aged children. This is accomplished by maintaining high vaccination coverage rates in schools through the application of Administrative Rules of Montana that require reporting the immunization status of all enrolled students and require vaccines for school enrollment.
What is the School Immunization Assessment?
Administrative Rule of Montana (ARM) 37.114.720 requires all public and private schools’ governing authority or designee to submit the immunization status of all enrolled students to DPHHS. Each fall, to evaluate compliance with ARM 37.114.720, the Montana Immunization Program documents the immunization coverage of the following vaccines: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTaP/DTP/Tdap/DT/Td), Polio (IPV), Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) and Varicella (VAR).
Statewide vaccination coverage
The percentage of public and private school students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade for the antigens required for school entry has been greater than 90% for the past 5 academic years, with the exception of the Tdap/Td booster during the 2011-2012 school year.
*For the 2015-2016 academic year, only students who received the Tdap vaccination are counted as compliant. In previous years, students with Tdap or Td booster were counted as compliant. **Varicella added to school vaccination requirements for 2015-2016 academic year. Abbreviations: DTaP =diphtheria, tetanus toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccine; IPV = inactivated poliovirus vaccine; MMR = measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine; Td = tetanus and diphtheria vaccine; Tdap = tetanus toxoid, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis for 7-12th grades.
The following maps provide a county level summary of the percentage public and private school students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade who have been vaccinated for each required antigen. Click on any image to view a larger version.
|2015-2016 Statewide DTaP Percentage by County
2015-2016 Statewide IPV Percentage by County
2015-2016 Statewide MMR Percentage by County
|2015-2016 Statewide Tdap Percentage by County
2015-2016 Statewide Varicella Percentage by County
Medical and Religious Exemptions
Medical exemptions have remained under 1% among students enrolled in both public and private schools during the past 5 academic years. During the same time period, religious exemptions have increased each year among students enrolled in both public and private schools, with the greatest increases among students enrolled in private schools.
A closer examination of medical and religious exemptions among students enrolled in public and private schools suggests that while the statewide percentage is relatively low, there are counties in Montana with higher concentrations of both types of exemptions. An increase in exemptions leads to a greater percentage of children who are susceptible to disease and the potential for increased spread of vaccine preventable diseases.