Texas Medicine Today, a Texas Medical Association newsletter, attributed El Paso’s high vaccination rate for the City’s low measles outbreak in 2019.
“This article and the information presented is so much more than kudos,” said Public Health Director Robert Resendes. “This is really a wakeup call for those who choose not to be vaccinated or not to vaccinate their children and the danger they put our community in.”
El Paso vaccination rates are among the highest in the country. A study found that if El Paso’s vaccination rate was just 10 percent lower, it would have resulted in over 5,400 cases of measles rather than the six cases El Paso had.
At .6 percent, El Paso County’s overall vaccination exemption rate for school-aged children is half that of the 1.2 percent for the state of Texas.
“I am very pleased that the story covered the cooperation we have throughout El Paso. When you have local physicians, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, businesses, and family members working toward the same goal of protecting the community’s health, it definitely has a positive effect,” said the Department of Public Health’s health authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza.
The article states, in part:
So how is El Paso bucking this trend? The answer isn’t simple, says Gilbert Handal, MD, a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) in El Paso. Some aspects of it, like physician coordination and advocacy in the schools and community, could be replicated in other parts of the state. Other pieces are just traditional parts of El Paso’s culture, such as an old-fashioned trust of physicians among most patients.