PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With more than 100 cases of measles documented across the country, a new report has some worrisome information about vaccination rates in the Keystone State.
The research, which was conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts, reveals that the states that have the loosest vaccine requirements have lower rates of vaccination.
According to Stateline, Pew's nonpartisan news service, those states with looser rules typically allow for "religious" or "philosophical" exemptions, and "philosophical" or "personal belief" exemptions are easier to obtain than religious ones.
RELATED: Measles Resources Guide
While the federal government's goal of vaccinating 90% of kids before they enter school is being met – the national rate is 91.1% -- there are only two states do not allow any immunization exemptions for children entering school, West Virginia and Mississippi.
And though nearby states like New Jersey and Delaware have vaccination rates that surpass 90%, Pennsylvania is second to last among the 50 states, with just around 85% of school-age kids immunized. Pa. allows both religious and personal belief exemptions. New Jersey and Delaware, on the other hand, only allow religious exemptions.
Pew notes that with the measles outbreak spreading, states like Washington and California are trying to tighten their laws to allow fewer non-medical immunization exemptions, and only time will tell whether Pennsylvania tries to do the same.
The CDC issued a health advisory about the measles outbreak earlier this month.
for more features.