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1 in 10 AZ kindergartners not vaccinated against key diseases

About one in 10 kindergartners in Arizona are unprotected against key childhood diseases. 

That’s largely due to a rise in the number of vaccine deniers coupled with one of the nation’s easiest opt-out provisions.

Arizona Public Health Association Executive Director Will Humble says the rates are still declining. 

"It's insidious. We have been losing about a half a percent every year for the last 10 years. That might not sound like a lot, half a percent per year. But if you start looking at a 10-year period, now you're looking at a loss of 5%.” Humble said. 

Most recent data shows only 90.6% of Arizona kindergarteners got the MMR vaccine, which is well short of the 95% necessary to prevent outbreaks of diseases like measles and mumps.

Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.