Health & Science

Houston’s Low Rate Of Measles Vaccinations Is The Worst In Texas

In 2017, the most recent year with data compiled by the CDC, only 87.8 percent of Houston children between 19 and 35 months had the measles vaccine.

This illustration provides a 3D graphical representation of a spherical-shaped, measles virus particle that is studded with glycoprotein tubercles.
This illustration provides a 3D graphical representation of a spherical-shaped, measles virus particle that is studded with glycoprotein tubercles.

Too few Houstonians are vaccinated against measles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2017, the most recent year with data compiled by the CDC, only 87.8 percent of Houston children between 19 and 35 months had the measles vaccine. That’s the worst in Texas and among the worst in the United States.

The CDC’s target rate for the measles vaccine is 90 percent. That figure comes from a concept called “herd immunity” – if enough people are vaccinated, the disease can’t spread rapidly. That protects people who can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons.

Other Texas metro areas fared better. In Dallas County, 93.2 percent of children were vaccinated, while in Travis County the rate was 92.1 percent. Bexar County led the state with a 96.1 percent vaccination rate, among the best nationwide. Statewide, the average was 90.3 percent.

This week, five cases of measles have been reported in the Greater Houston region, three in Harris County, one in Galveston County and another one in Montgomery County.

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