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Experts: Slipping Arizona Vaccination Rates Put Everyone At Risk

Arizona's vaccination rates are slipping half a percent each year — and health experts have warned it is placing everyone at risk.

Currently, vaccination rates in pockets of metro Phoenix fall below 85 percent, including in the Anthem and Fountain Hills communities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Speaking on PBS's "Arizona Horizon" over the weekend, Will Humble with the Arizona Public Health Association said that figure falls far below the level needed to protect the state's most vulnerable populations.

"If you take a ten year block you've lost 5 percent," he said. At the very least, he continued, "We need to be at 95 percent or above for measles. We're already below that."

Humble cited a recent case with a family from Tucson returning from Asia with a child who contracted the disease.

Fortunately, he said, Pima County has better immunity with higher vaccination rates than rural areas like Sedona, Prescott and Yavapai County where the rates are lower.

He warned that vaccination rates under 95 percent place all Arizonans at risk, especially infants who are vulnerable to exposure, since they cannot be fully vaccinated until their first birthday.

Holliday Moore is a native Arizonan and veteran journalist who joined KJZZ’s news team in January 2017.Moore graduated from Arizona State University after double majoring in mass communications and marketing/management. She spent her first two decades reporting for television news, beginning in small markets and working up to congressional correspondent in Washington, D.C., for a political news service.Family commitments in Arizona brought her back to the Southwest, where she covered legislative and court beats for Albuquerque’s KRQE-TV and the infamous Four Corner Manhunt as KREZ-TV’s managing editor.Back home in Phoenix, she developed ABC15’s “Democracy Project,” now instituted at all Scripps’ news stations nationwide. Her work garnered “Best Practices” recognition by the Poynter Institute and the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.Her television reports, from sports to cultural issues, earned her multiple Emmy and Associated Press nominations, including a Rocky Mountain Emmy for her Hopi Partition Land Act coverage.As she started a family, Moore started her own media production agency, producing magazine-style travel stories for the Emmy-winning Arizona Highways Television show while working part time for a Valley radio station. She is convinced radio is where visual, sound, and print are merging through deeper storytelling. In her relatively short time with radio network affiliates, she has won four Edward R. Murrow Awards and multiple nominations from other professional news societies.Moore now teaches advanced broadcast writing to the next generation of reporters at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where a high percentage have gone on to receive national awards for their work in her class. She enjoys being back home near childhood friends and sharing the beautiful Arizona desert with her husband and young son.