More than 11,000 children in Milwaukee are not vaccinated, creating risk for measles outbreak

Molly Beck:

More than 11,000 students in Milwaukee Public Schools alone did not receive all required vaccinations this school year including against the highly contagious rash and devastating diseases like polio, diphtheria and hepatitis B, according to state health records.

With nearly 15% of students attending public schools without all necessary vaccinations against such viruses there could be too few vaccinated students within the district’s boundaries to create what’s known as herd immunity, which prevents newborn babies, unvaccinated children or adults in poor health from contracting diseases that could disable or kill them.

“It’s like you have a can of gasoline and you’re just waiting for someone to drop a match,” said James Conway, a doctor who specializes in pediatric infectious diseases and associate director for health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.