Driving the news: School vaccine waivers more than doubled in some parts of the state from 2020 to 2021, according to preliminary immunization data obtained by Axios Salt Lake City.

By the numbers: Barely a quarter of Utah’s elementary schools had at least 95% of their kindergarteners fully vaccinated last fall — the rate needed for herd immunity against measles.

  • The share of Utah schools where more than 5% of kindergarteners were exempt rose by nearly 40%.
  • Most of those schools are in politically conservative parts of the state.

Why it matters: Children who can’t be vaccinated due to allergies or other medical problems rely on their peers to protect them from serious illnesses like measles, whooping cough and polio.