VASHON ISLAND, Wash. — Sarah Day is a school nurse with “street cred” when it comes to the polarizing issue of vaccines on an idyllic island in Washington state known for its rural beauty, counterculture lifestyle and low immunization rates. Since she began communal living on Vashon Island more than 20 years ago, the registered nurse has been advocating for getting kids their shots against a loud contingent of anti-vaccine parents in the close-knit community of about 11,000 that’s accessible only by ferry, a serene 20-minute ride from Seattle. And it may now be working, thanks to a “perfect storm” of changes being felt on the island, Day said.The Vashon Island School District has seen a significant increase in fully immunized children. The number of kindergartners who received the required set of state-mandated vaccines jumped by 31% in the past six years, from 56% to nearly 74% in the 2017-18 school year, according to the King County Public Health Department.Amid the nation’s largest measles outbreak in 25 years, pro-vaccine advocates are cheering this apparent shift that challenges Vashon’s reputation as a hotbed of highly educated, anti-establishment parents who choose not to vaccinate their children from preventable and potentially devastating diseases.”We’ve… Read full this story
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