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Maine CDC reports record high childhood immunization rates

Health care professional's gloved hands holding a vaccine syringe and bottle
Luciana Santerre

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday that more than 95% of school-age children have received all required vaccines.

According to the Maine CDC, this is the first year that the state has exceeded what's known as the "herd immunity" threshold since reporting began in 2011. Herd immunity is when a population develops immunity from infectious disease through vaccination or previous infection. Public health officials said it makes diseases rarer and saves lives.

In a press release, the CDC said Maine's childhood vaccination rates are among the best in the country and they have improved dramatically since the 2021 implementation of a new law that removed religious and philosophical exemptions.

The findings come as the U.S. saw more measles cases in the first three months of 2024 than all of last year.