The Conversation: To Vaccinate or Not?

Apr 24, 2019

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In the headlines this morning -- the measles outbreak across in the country, the largest since the disease was declared eliminated in the year 2000. The resurgence has rekindled the vaccination debate, which is the subject today on our call-in show.

Revealing data from our Hawaii schools highlights the population of unvaccinated communities that are at risk.

Kauai tops that list followed by the Big Island and Maui. Charter schools also have large numbers of students who have been granted exemptions.

Across the nation some states are moving to tighten up the process to opt out of vaccines.

In the last 24 hours, Los Angeles is the latest city to declare a measles outbreak. Some 22 states are dealing with outbreaks. Here in Hawaii recenly compiled numbers show what school communities are at risk for  the disease, as several charter school campuses have large numbers of exemptions for the mandatory vaccinations.

Joining us today are:

  • Dr. Sarah Park, State Epidemiologist of the Department of Health

  • Dr. Peter Locatelli, pediatric pulmonary specialist who has worked in West Hawaii on the Big Island as a board-certified pediatrician since 1981.

  • Yvonne Lau, Chief Operations Officer at the Hawaii Public Charter School Commission.