Public service is an important part of the Arizona Daily Star's mission.

The newspaper's public-service projects in recent years have exposed the gaps in Arizona's mental-health system, explained the dangers of childhood obesity and revealed weak government oversight of nursing homes.

Today we begin an examination of low vaccination rates in Pima County and Arizona. The first installment investigates low rates for kindergartners and reveals that a state law requiring children to be immunized is not being enforced.

Next month, we analyze the latest in the perceived link between autism and vaccinations, and how that belief, discredited by professionals, contributes to low vaccination rates.

Send your thoughts or ideas to reporters Stephanie Innes at or Rob O'Dell at