As the country watches the number of measles cases slowly rise, concerns begin to surface about the safety of children in childcare centers in Georgia. Georgia, unlike some states, does not make vaccination rates of daycare centers and schools available easily online. The Georgia Department of Health publishes general information about measles on their website. The Georgia Department of Health also requires daycare centers and schools to immediately report any cases of measles. From 2005-2014, there were only five confirmed cases of measles in Georgia.
The Georgia Department of Health is in charge of regulating the requirements for daycare centers and schools, and they audit each childcare center and school each year to ensure compliance. Georgia requires daycare centers and schools to provide one of two things for each enrolled student: 1) a GA Form 3231 immunization form that is not expired, or 2) a notarized exemption form, which is allowed for religious or medical reasons.
The LA Times news article published February 4th, 2015 titled “Many California Childcare Centers Have Low Vaccination Rates” cites: “Experts say a 92% vaccination rate is a minimum to prevent an outbreak like measles from spreading rapidly; greater than 95% is ideal.” Since Georgia does not publish the vaccination rates of daycare centers and schools in Georgia, it may be best to directly ask your childcare or school administration for that information.
Foundations for the Future is both a childcare center and an elementary school in Kennesaw, Georgia, and we pulled our immunization records today (2/6/15) to calculate the vaccination percentage of our students. 98% of FFTF students are current on their vaccinations. The remaining 2% have waivers for religious or medical reasons–however, children with these waivers still might have received the MMR on a delayed scheduled, so it is possible our actual MMR vaccination rate is even above 98%. We will continue to watch the news closely and follow the recommendations of the CDC for childcare centers and schools.