Montana Public Radio

vaccines

 

Protests against how the state and federal government is handling coronavirus have surged across the country and in Montana. Most recently, animal rights protestors gathered outside Rocky Mountain Labs in Hamilton where scientists are hard at work on a vaccine. But public opposition to scientific efforts has a long history in Montana. 

Vaccination
CDC/ Judy Schmidt

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the number of vaccines being given to children for diseases like polio and hepatitis B has fallen dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic.

Montana’s public health departments and providers, seeing the same decline, are concerned it could lead to an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease and pull resources away from the COVID-19 response.

Pertussis cases by Montana county, 05-05-19
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

There are more than 170 reported cases of whooping cough in Montana. State health officials say local outbreaks in parts of western Montana are driving the recent uptick.

The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) reports recent outbreaks of whooping cough in Missoula, Flathead and Lake counties.

Pertussis progression.
Centers For Disease Control (PD)

Missoula County health officials are investigating an outbreak of whooping cough that has sickened at least six Missoulians. Local health officials have identified hundreds more who may have been exposed to the contagious respiratory disease.

'Capitol Talk' is MTPR's weekly legislative analysis program.
Montana Public Radio

Tonight on Capitol Talk: Bills that are still alive, and bills that are gone at the midway point of the session. The effectiveness - and downside - of arguing "religious freedom" to get a bill passed. And the congressional delegation's tepid reaction to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen's testimony.

Measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.
iStock


Controversial bills to loosen rules on vaccine requirements in daycares and foster homes were voted down Thursday in the Montana House.

Percentage of public and private school students enrolled in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade with a religious exemption to required vaccines, Montana 2017–2018 academic year.
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

State lawmakers took up several bills dealing with vaccinations against preventable diseases Monday. The bills would expand immunization exemptions in daycares and foster homes in Montana.

The same day, a fifth suspected case of measles was reported in Oregon, related to an outbreak of dozens of measles cases in Washington state.

Measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.
iStock

The number of confirmed measles cases in Washington state continues to grow amid a government-declared emergency there.

Thirty-five confirmed cases and 11 suspected cases of measles have been identified as of Sunday. Thirty-one victims were unvaccinated, while the status of the remaining four isn’t known. Most cases struck children one to 10 years-old.

The House chamber at the Montana Legislature.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

On Wednesday, a county in Washington state declared a public health emergency because of an outbreak of measles, a vaccine-preventable infectious disease. Today, Montana’s Legislature heard two bills proposing more options to opt out of vaccines, and to let the public know about those options. 

Flu Hits Six Montana Counties

Sep 17, 2015
Providence Health and Services announced Wednesday that it is expanding behavioral health services in all nine of its primary care clinics in western Montana.
(PD)

Health officials have recorded twelve cases of flu in six Montana counties: Yellowstone, Gallatin, Lewis and Clark, Missoula, Beaverhead, and Broadwater. Karl Milhon with the Department of Public Health says Montana's flu season typically doesn’t begin until October.

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