Idaho kids rank low in vaccinations

CALDWELL, Idaho (KBOI) - Idaho ranks near the bottom of states in the U.S. for vaccinating young children. The Centers for Disease Control says Idaho is fourth worst in the nation for kindergarten aged kids. The CDC looked at vaccination rates for MMR, Pertussis and Chicken Pox.

So a clinic in Caldwell discounted vaccinations on Saturday in an effort to get more kids their up to date shots as they go back to school. Immunizations are free to children in Idaho, but sometimes a doctor's visit to get those shots can cost $50 to $60. So the clinic decided to offer all the immunizations any kid needed for just $20.

"We're trying to provide our services at the lowest cost possible for people that maybe have problems with the economic times and so forth," said Bruce Krosch, the Southwest District Health Department Director.

But it was still a slow day. The clinic was prepared for hundreds, but only about 150 kids showed up.

And organizers say the majority of those kids were ages eight to 18. Younger children, who are just starting out in school, were few and far between.

Krosch says that could be because some parents think immunizations could be harmful to their small children, but he disagrees.

"Just look at the age people were passing away a hundred years ago, verses what they are now," Krosch said, "Immunizations are a huge part of that."

And he says for many parents, it's hard to see their young kids get shots, but it's something they should still do.

"It's a parental responsibility that everyone has to face," he explained, "If you want to protect your children against potentially dangerous diseases, it'd be wise to get your children immunized."