Many Lane County students unvaccinated
EUGENE, Ore. - Many of the Oregon schools with the largest percentages of students unvaccinated against one or more diseases are in Lane County, according to the most recent numbers available.
Oregon requires vaccinations, including measles, to attend school. But students can avoid the requirement with a parental or doctor's note.
Thirteen Oregon schools have Nonmedical Exemption Rates of 50 percent or greater, according to the most recent list dated January 2014.
Of those, 3 are in Lane County - including St. Thomas Becket Academy in Veneta, which leads the state with a 72 percent rate. Of the school's 103 students, 74 have a nonmedical exemption to one or more required vaccines.
Also on the list: the Eugene Waldorf School, where 108 of the 160 students have a nonmedical exemption, a 68 percent rate; and the Village School, where of the 215 students, 141 have a nonmedical exemption, a 66 percent rate.
FIND YOUR CHILD'S SCHOOL: Exemption counts and rates at all Lane County schools
Parents opposed to vaccines say the risk from the shots outweighs the risk from the diseases.
And no vaccine is 100 percent effective: Even people with the 2-step vaccine against measles are only 95 percent immune, said Dr. Paul Cieslak of the Oregon Health Authority.
A Eugene man contracted measles while on vacation in California and may have exposed other people to the disease. So far, there are no additional confirmed cases.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory illness that can spread by air through coughing or sneezing. Symptoms include fever followed by cough, runny nose and a blotchy rash. Though the virus has been eradicated in the U.S. since 2000, it can still enter the country through an infected traveler.
Those most at risk of contracting measles include unvaccinated children.
Nonmedical Exemption Count at Oregon schools
The Oregon Health Authority tracks what is known as the Nonmedical Exemption Count at Oregon schools.
"The Nonmedical Exemption County number includes children with a nonmedical exemption for all required vaccines, and children with a nonmedical exemption for one or more vaccines who are up-to-date or complete for vaccines for which they do not have exemptions," according to the Oregon Health Authority.
In addition to St. Thomas Becket Academy, the Eugene Waldorf School and the Village School, other Lane County schools with exemption rates of 10 percent or more as of January 2014 include:
The Family School in Eugene, 90 exemptions out of 182 students; a 49 percent rate.
Ridgeline Montessori School in Eugene, 69 exemptions out of 227 students; a 30 percent rate.
Network Charter School in Eugene, 30 exemptions out of 115 students; a 26 percent rate
Far Horizons Montessori School in Eugene, 15 exemptions out of 60 students, a 25 percent rate
Triangle Lake Charter Elementary School, 19 exemptions out of 98 students; a 19 percent rate
Camas Ridge Community Elementary in Eugene, 72 exemptions out of 383 students; a 19 percent rate
Academy for Character Eduction in Cottage Grove, 16 exemptions out of 90 students; an 18 percent rate
Adams Elementary School in Eugene, 72 exemptions out of 417 students; a 17 percent rate
Arts and Technology Academy in Eugene, 47 exemptions out of 281; a 17 percent rate
Triangle Lake Charter High School, 22 exemptions out of 147; a 15 percent rate
Chavez Elementary School in Eugene, 62 exemptions out of 452; a 14 percent rate
Edison Elementary School in Eugene, 45 exemptions out of 342; a 13 percent rate
Spencer Butte Middle School in Eugene, 57 exemptions out of 448 students; a 13 percent rate
Churchill High School in Eugene, 115 exemptions out of 1,041 students; 11 percent rate
Charlemagne/Fox Hollow Elementary in Eugene, 35 exemptions out of 318, an 11 percent rate
Roosevelt Middle School in Eugene, 59 exemptions out of 557 students; 11 percent rate
Oak Hill School, 19 exemptions out of 181 students, 10 percent
Lowell Junior/Senior High School, 13 exemptions out of 124; a 10 percent rate
Dorena Elementary School, 10 exemptions out of 96 students; a 10 percent rate
Lundy Elementary School in Lowell, 13 exemptions out of 129 students; a 10 percent rate
Edgewood Community School in Eugene, 38 exemptions out of 390 students; a 10 percent rate
River Road/El Camino del Rio Elementary School in Eugene, 28 exemptions out of 294 students, a 10 percent rate
All other Lane County schools on the list have a rate lower than 10 percent.
There are 28 Lane County Schools with fewer than 10 exempt students per school. The state does not calculate an exemption rate for those schools.