EDITORIAL: Pa. should zap 'philosophical' exemption for childhood immunizations

February 14, 2015

Measles is the epicenter of the debate right now, because it is highly contagious and can cause serious side effects -- and because immunizations rates have fallen below 90 percent in some areas of the country. At 95.6 percent, New Jersey has one of the highest vaccination rates against measles, mumps and rubella in the nation, according to a report by Trust for America's Health.

While the vaccination rate in the Lehigh Valley is about 90 percent, Pennsylvania's statewide rate has slipped to 87 percent. Keeping the rate at 95 percent or higher is considered essential to protect the general population and prevent outbreaks.

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