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May 19, 1978

Enforcement of School Immunization Law in Alaska

Author Affiliations

From the Bureaus of Epidemiology (Dr Middaugh) and State Services (Mr Zyla), Center for Disease Control, Public Health Service, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Anchorage, Alaska.

JAMA. 1978;239(20):2128-2130. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280470040019

Investigation of measles outbreaks during the fall of 1976 led to the discovery that Alaska's school immunization law was not being enforced. In an effort to control a large outbreak of measles in Fairbanks, children were required to show proof of measles vaccination or be excluded from school. Of the Fairbanks schoolchildren, 25% were vaccinated against measles; 1,251 (11%) of 11,727 unvaccinated schoolchildren were excluded in January, and no further cases of measles occurred. Subsequently, the school law was enforced statewide, and on March 1, 1977, all children not immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, and rubella were excluded from school (7,418 [8.3%] of 89,108). One month later, fewer than 51 children still did not meet immunization requirements. More than 35,000 children were vaccinated in the immunization campaign; no adverse side effects to any vaccine were reported.

(JAMA 239:2128-2130, 1978)