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Mid-Missouri schools see more vaccinated students than statewide average



According to data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, about 97% of students across Missouri schools are vaccinated. That number is higher for students in Mid-Missouri.

Data from Columbia Public Schools shows that at least 1.4% of CPS students are exempt from at least one vaccine. In Jefferson City Schools, about 1.5% of students are not fully vaccinated.

CPS Spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said it is not up to the district to make the rules on who is allowed to be exempt from vaccinations.

"All schools districts in Missouri that are public schools districts have the same policies," she said.

Here is a chart of CPS student exemptions, broken down by each vaccine and whether the student is exempt for religious or medical reasons. Baumstark said the district does not keep a tally of exemptions overall.

TdapGr 8-12885
Hep B2178
VaricellaGr K-1225711
MCVGr 8-121097

Jefferson City Schools spokeswoman Ryan Burns said students in JC Schools have the following number of exemptions:

Religious ExemptionMedical Exemption

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Missouri is one of 45 states that allow religious exemptions for vaccines.

However, Missouri is now one of the 15 states that allow philosophical exemptions due to personal or moral beliefs.

"The law allows for religious and medical exemptions. there is a process that you have to go through as a parent in order to obtain one of those exemptions," Baumstark added. "The medical exemption requires a physician or provider sign off with the specific reason why the exemption is being granted for that specific vaccine. additionally, with the religious exemption, those actually go through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services."

Editor's Note (2/2/2020) - This article has been edited to reflect that 97% of Missouri students are vaccinated.

ABC 17 News Investigates / Columbia / Columbia Public Schools / Columbia Video / Jefferson City / Jefferson City Public Schools / Jefferson City Video / News / Top Stories / Top Stories / Video
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Zara Barker

Zara Barker is an anchor and investigative reporter for ABC 17 News. She anchors the Breaking News Desk during the morning newscast and anchors the 9 a.m. broadcast.


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