How did change in exemption law impact Vermont vaccination rates?

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Health officials in Washington State are dealing with a state of emergency after more than 50 people there contracted measles.

Most people who get measles suffer flu-like symptoms and a rash, but it can cause brain damage and be fatal. Measles is highly contagious, but is preventable by vaccine.

In Washington parents can opt out of vaccinating their school-aged children for personal or philosophical reasons. Now a bill in the Statehouse there would remove that option, something that happened here in Vermont four years ago.

Galen Ettlin spoke with Vermont epidemiologist Patsy Kelso about how the impacts the exemption has had on vaccination rate.