State puts school immunizations on public map

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Using an interactive map, Wisconsin health officials have made it easy for you to see school immunization data online. It's the first time they put the information out in this way in hopes it can be used as a tool for parents, schools, and healthcare providers.

State health officials say the interactive map (click here) is not meant to shame schools with lower vaccine rates but rather to educate.

“We know that immunization rates overall for children in schools is quite high but there are pockets where rates are lower, and it's important for communities to realize this so schools and public health care providers can work together to make sure that schools are healthier,” said Wisconsin Immunization Program Manager, Stephanie Schauer.

For parents of kids who don't take to the vaccine or can't because of medical reasons, this information comes in handy.

“Tracking where people are not getting immunized certainly could help to protect those that have no coverage not because they didn't want it,” said Aurora Baycare Medical Center’s Dr. Donald Beno.

Looking at the map, you'll see a majority of school kids in Northeast Wisconsin are vaccinated, but state health officials say this information will also help them figure out reasons why some areas have lower numbers than others in order to prevent an outbreak.

“Many of these illnesses that we're immunizing against can be deadly and they can get meningitis from many of them, and meningitis has a survival rate that's not wonderful,” said Dr. Beno.