Overall, Toutle Lake had the most total religious exemptions, followed closely by Castle Rock.
Kelso had the highest overall vaccination rate, while Kalama lost the highest percentage of staff to the vaccine, according to state data. (See attached graphic for a full breakdown.)
Statewide, 89.2% of education workers, or 138,874 people, were fully immunized by the Oct. 18 deadline. Another 0.5%, around 850 people, started vaccination before the deadline, but was not fully vaccinated.
About 0.7% of the state obtained a medical exemption and 9.6% a religious exemption. It’s about 16,000 with the exemptions.
Locally, the average exemption rates were much higher.
In Castle Rock, about 34% got exemptions. In Toutle Lake, 33%. Woodland came in third with 19%, followed by Kalama, Kelso and Longview with around 14% total exemptions. The overwhelming majority of the exemptions were religious.
LCC reports 90.9% vaccination rate, K-12 schools see lower percentages of staff choosing vaccines
State Superintendent Chris Reykdal said he expected school staff exemption rates to be higher than the state employee average, which was around 3%, and that ‘He expected rural districts to be higher than urban exemption rates.
“We have a lot more staff in rural communities,” he said. “We certainly expected that more school staff in these areas hesitant to vaccinate would reflect their communities.”