- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota health officials say they’re concerned about a decline in the state’s kindergarten immunization rates.

Immunization surveillance coordinator Lexie Barber says a vaccination rate of 95 percent is recommended for measles, mumps or rubella to maintain herd immunity in schools and prevent cases and outbreaks. The North Dakota Department of Health says data from the 2015-2016 school assessment indicates the state’s kindergarten MMR vaccine coverage rate is about 87.9 percent.

Barber says low vaccination coverage rates leave North Dakota schools susceptible to outbreaks. She says it’s important to maintain high vaccination rates to ensure that schools are a safe and healthy place for children to learn.

Health officials urge all parents to make sure their children are up to date on immunizations.

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