Houston one of the worst for vaccine rates

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports last year, Houston had the lowest rate of measles vaccination among young children.

Nationally, Houston is listed as the fifth worst designated area for vaccine rates.

Houston Health Department ’s Porfirio Villarreal said they believe the number of vaccinated children has dropped because of parents filing exemptions from getting their children immunized.

"We've not done as well as we've done in previous years. Hopefully it’s just one year. We hopefully will move up next year," said Villarreal.

He said there are currently no measles cases in Houston proper, but there are cases in Harris, Montgomery and Galveston counties.

The Immunization Partnership Director of Advocacy and Policy Rekha Lakshmanan said they are seeing more families that are hesitant to vaccinate their children, but there's also vaccine desserts in the urban environment.

"I think there's also an issue around just simple access to vaccines," said Lakshmanan.

She expects there will be more measles cases coming in the future.

Villarreal says the barrier is parents who don't get their children immunized. The best prevention is to immunize properly and on time

"By protecting the children, you will be protecting your neighborhood, your city and our nation," said Villarreal.

He said they've done with the help of hundreds of doctors, since November, they've been able to vaccinate at least 2,500 hundred children.

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