Gator Lanphear poses for a photo with his twin 6-year-old daughters Scarlett, left, and Leilani in Vashon Island, Wash., on May 15. Lanphear said he not only immunizes his twin daughters but instills in them the importance of getting their shots as a heroic act. The number of philosophical exemptions in Vashon has decreased dramatically, but overall, there are still 11.6 percent of students whose families elect not to vaccinate.
VASHON ISLAND, Wash. >> Sarah Day is a school nurse with “street cred” when it comes to the polarizing issue of vaccines on an idyllic island in Washington state known for its rural beauty, counterculture lifestyle and low immunization rates.
Since she began communal living on Vashon Island more than 20 years ago, the registered nurse has advocated for getting kids their shots against a loud contingent of anti-vaccine parents in the close-knit community of about 11,000 accessible only by ferry, a serene 20-minute ride from Seattle.
And it may now be working, thanks to a “perfect storm” o