CDC: Ohio has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

CDC: Ohio has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country

(PHOTO: FOX19/ Lisa Hutson) (PHOTO: FOX19/ Lisa Hutson)
FOX19 -

An outbreak of the measles, affecting 102 Americans in 14 states across the country, has Ohio and Kentucky lawmakers discussing vaccinations.

"I don't know that we need another law, but I do believe that all children should be vaccinated,” said Republican House Speaker John Boehner.

The discussion surrounding the current measles outbreak made its way to Capitol Hill Tuesday as doctors lined up to reinforce the importance of immunizations.

However, the numbers in Ohio are not encouraging. According to the Center for Disease Control, only 86 percent of Ohio children were vaccinated for Measles-mumps-rubella in 2013. That is the second-lowest in the country.

The Ohio Department of Health is investigating the largest outbreak of measles in years. 382 cases were reported in 2014, and nine resulted in hospitalizations.

Republican Senator Rand Paul told MSNBC the choice should be with parents, not lawmakers.

"I'm not arguing vaccines are a bad idea. I think they are a good thing but I think the parents should have some input,” said Paul.

"The science is clear that vaccines are very safe and very effective,” said Dr. Lynn Sadler with Northern Kentucky Department of Health.

Sadler said the law in Kentucky is clear. Children must be vaccinated unless they meet medical or religious exceptions. Less than one percent of children have been granted those exceptions.

Leading medical officials said the outbreaks of measles seen in recent years may be a result of parents choosing not to immunize their kids fearing consequences like Autism or other mental disorders. There are concerns the medical community continues to discount.

"When you have children that are not vaccinated around other people who are not vaccinated, for example young infants who are not at the right age to get their vaccinations to be fully protected and their immune systems are not fully developed, then other children are going to be at risk,” said Sadler.

Ohio requires preschools and daycares to keep immunization records but it is also the only state in the country that does not require them. Lawmakers in Columbus said they are working to change that to prevent more outbreaks.

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